Several journalists at the Standard Group are living in fear as rogue Editor-In-Chief Ochieng Rapuro spearheads a crackdown akin to bloodletting.
The Sadistic editorial boss has trained his guns on senior KTN news anchor Linda Ogutu and Sports Editor Robin Toskin.
Rapuro gave the two show cause letters on why they should not be fired after Sports CS Amina Mohamed appointed them to the caretaker Committee of FKF.
He claims that the appointment is violation of their contracts and amounts to conflict of interest.
And to show his malice, Rapuro directed the two to take a “Sabbatical” and fight for their jobs from outside.
However the two are said to have declined to take leave prompting Rapuro to direct the IT department to remove them from the system.
And on Sunday, incompetent Digital Managing Editor Carole Kimutai removed the two from all SG WhatsApp groups.
Lindah is said to have succumbed to the pressure and took a Sabbatical while Toskin has vowed to fight to the end.
Ironically as Rapuro targets the two, he promoted Nzau Musau to head of news inspite him also serving at the New Kenya Coffee Planters Union (KPCU) and KTN editor Najima Ishmael who serves at the Kenya Tourism Board.
The woes facing Toskin and Linda comes just few weeks after Business Desk Sub Editor Kagure Gacheche resigned following pressure from Rapuro. Nairobian senior reporter David Odongo too resigned last month after he clashed with Rapuro.
Last year, senior business reporter Michira Moses who was poised to be appointed Coast Region Bureau chief resigned after he differed with Rapuro over a story he was pursuing.
Michira had sent an email to the Managing Director of Housing Finance seeking a comment on reports of an insider trading where tip managers were buying houses from mortgage holders who couldn’t pay due to Covid.
Instead of responding, the MD forwarded the email to Rapuro who then accused Michira of engaging in ‘bandit journalism’.
When he gave him a show cause letter, Michira opted to resign.
Recently Rapuro pushed out Digital sub editor Patel Okumu after he accused him of engaging in a side business instead of devoting his time fully to the Standard.
Early this year, Rapuro fired Senior Crime Reporter Cyrus Ombati whom he had accused of plagiarism. He claimed that Ombati who picked two lines from a rival media house, which he termed as misconduct. The senior Crime reporter having worked at Standard Group for over 15 years walked out without any benefits including his pension as the SG has not been remitting to the Liaison Group that manages the SG pension fund.
In 2019, he also pushed out senior political reporter Geoffrey Mosoku over a story he had published in 2017 about civil servants insurance scheme that had mentioned Jubilee Insurance whose CEO Julius Kipngetich sits at the board of the Standard. He accused Mosoku of failing to protect a board member inspite of his then bosses Kipkoech
Tanui and Alex Ndegwa having defended the story. Other reporter who have since been fired include Moses Njagih (parliament editor) and senior political reporter Rawlings Otieno. Rapuro is also said to be planning to fire Roselyne Obala who he demoted from Political Editor to City Editor and deployed her to town office.
He accuses Obala of conflict of interest for appearing at Ramogi TV and Radio regularly as a panelists yet the station is owned by rival media house. He once told Obala off for attending an Editors Guild meeting in Mombasa, telling her that she had gone to show off her legs at the Coast instead of working.
Two weeks ago, at the Staff Meeting, Rapuro accused reporters of being thieves saying they were stealing company time by making appearances in the office and going out in the field.
“You u are all thieves. I will fire you,” he said without giving particulars.