Radio Africa Counters Shaffie Weru with Ksh150million Lawsuit

In a demand letter addressed to the radio company's general manager, Shaffie who had worked for the station for 18 years prior to his dismissal has demanded damages amounting to Ksh21million.

Radio Africa Counters Shaffie Weru with Ksh150million Lawsuit

UPDATE Wednesday, March 31: Radio Africa has announced that it will counter former Homeboyz Radio presenter Shaffie Weru's Ksh21million lawsuit with their own for Ksh150million

The company will sue Shaffie for breach of contract and negligence following the inappropriate and insensitive comments made by the morning show host on-air about an incident where a woman was thrown off the 12th floor of a building for rejecting a man’s sexual advances.

In its case against Shaffie, Radio Africa and its subsidiary Homeboyz Radio 2017 Limited shall be asking the courts for damages of Ksh150 million for loss of business and reputational damage of the companies’ 15-year-old and 20-year-old brands.

Radio Africa stated its intention to sue the former Homeboyz presenter in its response to a letter from Shaffie’s lawyers.

MMA advocates had written a demand letter to Radio Africa on Tuesday, March 30 threatening to sue them for unfair and unlawful termination.

Radio Africa in its response to Shaffie’s lawyers further stated that Shaffie contravened company policies and his employment contract, and as per the terms of his contract such action lead to the “forthwith” termination of his services.

"His actions were unconscionable and amount to severe gross misconduct. He should have known better having been in the media industry for 18 years and receiving continuous training on media regulators’ programming codes, broadcasting regulations and codes of conduct and ethics. Including a very recent training by the Media Council of Kenya in February 2021 which covered: Ethics and Code of Conduct, Fake news and Fact checking, Interview skills, Conflict Sensitive Journalism, Hate Speech Dilemma in media, On-air presentation skills," Radio Africa stated.

The company added that it will robustly defend any claims made by Shaffie against it.

Former Homeboyz Radio presenter Shaffie Weru has moved to seek legal action against Radio Africa Group for his unlawful and unceremonious termination from the station on Saturday night, March 27.

In a demand letter addressed to the radio company's general manager, Shaffie who had worked for the station for 18 years prior to his dismissal has demanded damages amounting to Ksh21million.

Shaffie also wants a one-months salary in lieu of a notice, amounting to Ksh682,500 per month as well as a 12-month salary for unfair termination of Ksh8,190,000 and a gratuity of Ksh12,285,000.

The former Kiss FM presenter has issued the radio company with a week ultimatum, expiring on April 7, 2021, failure to which he will escalate the matter in court.

Shaffie, through law firm MMA advocates, was shocked on receiving the termination letter after he made derogatory remarks on his morning show, Lift-Off, alongside two other presenters: DJ Joe Mfalme and Neville Muasya.

The suspension that was issued to the three presenters after their comments caused a social media uproar was to pave way for investigations, and that the findings would be communicated to the presenters before April 8, 2021.

At 11.00pm on Saturday, March 27, Shaffie received calls and screenshots from his friends alerting him of the termination letter that was widely circulating social media platforms. 

On checking his WhatsApp messages in the morning of the same day, he discovered the same letter doing rounds on social media and forwarded to him by the station on Friday, March 26 at 11.00pm. In effect, Shaffie was suspended on the day of Friday, March 26 and the termination letter issued later that day and dated March 27, 2021.

“Indeed and shockingly so, the aforesaid termination of our client’s employment services through social media was confirmed to our client when he checked his WhatsApp messages on the morning of March 27 and saw a letter circulating on social media forwarded to him by yourselves on March 26,” the letter from MMA Advocates read.

The lawsuit documents also accused the station of failing to base their findings on any investigations and instead having to rely on social media investigators and jury before concluding that Shaffie was guilty of gross misconduct and making inappropriate comments. This was without giving the radio presenter a chance to defend his case under the Employment Act, 2007 as well as the 2010 Constitution.

“Further, without basing your findings on any investigations whatsoever and solely basing a purported decision on “social media investigators and jury” you concluded that our client was guilty of gross misconduct for purportedly making inappropriate and insensitive comments on March 25 while your summary dismissal letter refers to inappropriate and insensitive comments made on March 24. Our client is still lost and confused about the exact comments you collude at,” the letter read.

The new legal action adds to the developing crisis that could put Radio Africa Group in serious trouble. It comes two days after former Classic 105 presenter Terry Muikamba took legal action against the company for unfair dismissal amongst other grievances. 

Blogger Arthur Mandela, alias Xtian Dela, earlier vowed to narrate his experience while working for Kiss FM underneath the radio company at a later day, adding that the same toxic work environment forced Andrew Kibe, who worked at the station as well with Kamene Goro, to resign.