Radio Africa Group will countersue for break of contract and negligence.
This follows the inappropriate and insensitive comments made by the former Homebyz presenter on air about and surrounding an incident where a woman was thrown off a 12 floor building for rejecting a mans sexual advances.
In its case against Shaffie, Radio Africa and its subsidiaries Homeboyz Radio 2017 limited shall be asking for loss of business and reputational damage of the companys 15 year old and 20 year old brands.
Radio Africa stated its intentions to sue the former Homboyz presenter in its responds to a letter from Shaffie’s lawyers.
The former presenters lawyers had written a demand letter to Radio Africa on March 30threatening to sue for unfit and unlawful termination.
Radio Africa in its response to Shaffie’s lawyers further states that Shaffie contravened company policies and his employment contract and as per the terms of his contract such action led to the “forthwith” termination of his services.
“His actions were unconsiable and amount to severe gross misconduct. He should have known better having been int he industry 18 years and receiving continuous training on media regulators and code 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 said.
The company said it will robustly defend any claims made by Shaffie against it.
Radio Africa has issued prior statements saying that the company does not condone gender based violence sexual assault victim shaming emotional and verbal abuse.
The company took a massive hit on its revenues after EABL publicly stated on March 27 that it was pausing all forms of advertising on Radio Africa programs with the three presenters. In its statement, the brewery said that the statements said by the presenters go against EABL core tenets of of its agenda to promote inclusivity and diversity.
The company that normally advertises EABL and Guinness brands significantly on Radio Africa programmes said it discourages gender insensitive statements and negative portrayal of women in all its marketing campaigns.
Other organizations have issued statements about the on air incident. Amnesty Kenya’s Renee Ngamau, Chairperson on March 30 said, “This is the first time we are seeing swift and public action.
Speaking to Reuters she said, “These are the hopeful signs in a terrible situation. I’m cautiously optimistic this can be a catalyst for change in moving away from this ‘locker room banter’ on the airwaves to having more responsible, sensitive conversations.”
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) also condemned any form of Gender Based Violence (GBV) against men and women. KEPSA called for “accountability, professionalism and respect for human dignity.“
The remarks made on air were, by all means, insensitive and undermining to the victims of GBV – specifically to women and girls. This kind of insulting and improper language on mainstream media is unconscionable,” said Mr. Nik Nesbitt, KEPSA Chairperson.
This view was also supported by the National Gender and Equality Commission who welcomed the administrative actions taken by Homeboyz Radio against its staff as well as the sanctions imposed by the industry regulators; the Media Council of Kenya and the Communications Authority of Kenya.
The Media Council of Kenya on March 28 said it took note of the actions taken by the management of Homeboyz Radio on Shaffie and the two other presenters and commended the company for taking responsibility as a sign of commitment to uphold ethical standards in their programming.
The Communications Authority fined the station Kshs 1 Million, suspended the Lift Off breakfast show for six months, ordered the station to apologize and train their staff on gender issues.