The famous ‘Twavuma twasikika’ Sheki FM has now been reduced to ‘Hatuvumi twasikitika’ after a dry seven months for the staff.
The staff who sought anonymity now wants the Media Council of Kenya, MCK to intervene and rescue them from poor working conditions and violation of the labor laws.
The staff working as Presenters, News reporters and Producers of the only Mombasa based gospel radio station say despite requesting a meeting with the owners of the oldest regional radio station in the region, their efforts has yielded no fruits.
Sheki FM which was launched by the late Tony Msalame over 20 years ago before it was bought by the Seventh Day Adventist and is currently under the East Kenya Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist church has been performing poorly since it landed in the hands of the SDA church.
The staffs were also asked by the church to change their religion to become fully SDA members or they risk losing their jobs, a state that may have triggered their salaries being withheld.
The News reporters take home Ksh. 5,000 per month while the Editor earns Ksh. 8,000, the continuity Presenters earn between Ksh. 8,000 to Ksh. 12, 000. They are all subjected to a mandatory tithe of 10 percent to the church.
“We are forced to change our religions to Christianity and not just being a Christian but you must join the SDA church for you to safeguard your employment that was not as per the contract we signed” lamented one of the journalists.
The staffs are now calling on the government media regulatory body, Media Council of Kenya to swing into action and launch investigations over how the church has been running the station.
“We are appealing to the Media Council of Kenya CEO Mr. David Omwoyo and his Deputy Victor Bwire to intervene and ensure the station runs as per the provisions and guidelines of the Media Council of Kenya and the Communication Authority of Kenya as well,” noted another staff.
Effort to reach Pastor Daniel Yeri the Kenya Coast SDA field President proved futile.