Daily Monitor Managing Director Gitahi Githinji has been summarily fired. I read the Monitor version with a lot of skepticism. And that is why the Monitor, sorry to all the Monitors journalists, will continue to be mediocre. The revolving door policy is not good for the paper. Editors are changed left and right and now the CEO. The official version is that he left to concentrate on his other activities. Dr Simon Kagugube is now the new board chairman and Alex Asiimwe is the new managing director. Dr Kagugube replaces Dr Martin Aliker, who has been chairman for more than 10 years, while Mr Asiimwe takes over from Dr Gitahi Githinji.
And let us be honest, whoever is sent to Uganda from Nairobi to work with the Daily Monitor is not the best. Monitor is the place for third or even fourth tier management from Nairobi.
And guess what, the talent from Monitor deemed good goes to Nairobi as if Ugandan readers deserve mediocre editors and a so paper.
No wonder the Monitor has nothing in common, apart from ownership, with the Daily Nation. Even that Asiimwe will not last. It seems that careers get killed at the Monitor, which is too bad.
I lived in Nairobi and read the Daily Nation every day. I still read it online more than I read Ugandan papers. I am going to be brutally honest and name names.
Good journalists are sent to Nairobi because Kenyan readers demand value for their money. Kenyans actually buy and read Newspapers unlike Ugandans.
What do I base it on? I can tell good from bad journalists. For example, Mr. Onyango-Obbo was sent to Nairobi because he adds value to what Kenyans readers want.
What do I understand by good media management? Here I will tell you what I learned in my business courses especially organization behaviour and strategic management. You circulate your best talent throughout the organization so they can come face to face with decision making in all the major areas. This may contradict my claim if one can prove that those sent to Uganda from Nairobi ever went back to Nairobi in senior capacity. But that is not the case. Both Kenyans never went back to Nairobi in senior capacities. The previous one before the latest departure had failed in Kenya. He had issues, so he was sent to Uganda. You get his name and I will tell you more.
Now the problem of the Monitor ironically started with the cashing in by the founders. You could argue that Hon Wafula Oguttu, Mr Onyango-Obbo and the original owners actually sold out the Monitor to be what it is today. That is capitalism. They cashed in their rumoured billions and sacrificed the calibre of the Monitor. The big mistake they made and for that matter His HH Agakhan made was to let them retain some shareholding. The founders should have sold 100 percent and walked away from the Monitor kabisa and completely to enjoy their big mo. So AgaKhan should buy them out and take full ownership. That is the other problem facing the Monitor.
YKM or state house knows that the original owners who cashed in big money retained I believe 20 percent ownership. That dual ownership is killing the Monitor and condemning it to mediocre status to the point where they trail the New Vision. Think about that. Where in Africa does a private Newspaper get bested by a government mouthpiece part from Uganda? Listen nobody could buy Kenyan Times before Daily Nation or Standards. Sure they forced offices to buy.
So to be clear: the decision to ‘kill’ the Monitor has roots in the cashing in by the founders. They cannot complain because they played a major role in undermining the paper. Listen again, they only cared about their fat bank accounts and did not give a damn what would befall the Monitor. That is capitalism folks. Monitor can become better once the issue of residual claimant is settled.