Gossip

Newsroom Wars: NMG’s Editorial Director Reshuffles Politics Desk To Favor Ruto

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The battle lines in the fierce political rivalry between William Ruto and Raila Odinga have now extended to the Nation Media Group. Reports indicate that top editors at the Aga Khan-owned outfit are sharply divided over the formation of an election desk as the country approaches 2022 general elections. Your favourite main-street Weekly Citizen is reliably informed that a perceived Ruto point-man at the organisation Mutuma Mathiu is frantically championing for some changes which have triggered controversies at the physically imposing Nation Centre.

Mutuma Mathiu.

According to inside sources, Mutuma who is the group’s editorial director has taken sides by openly influencing contents in favour of the DP, a move that has put him at constant loggerheads with his executive editor Pamela Makotsi- Sittoni. Pam as she is widely known with the newsroom was named the position in 2019, making her the first woman to hold such a position in the history of Nation newspaper. Consequently, this has occasioned bad blood between the two top dogs and the ripple effect has seen junior writers also divided in two camps, one camp taking orders from Pam while the other renegade camp is being controlled by Mutuma.

Pamela Makotsi Sittoni

Weekly Citizen could not immediately establish whether his Highness the Aga Khan is aware of the war at his company. There is great concern that the situation could lead to a boycott of the media by politicians and their supporters who are likely to protest against negative coverage.

The current standoff was sparked off by attempts by Mutuma to take full control of the election desk by planting reporters friendly to his pro-Ruto mission. On the other hand Pam is hell-bent to ensure that the status quo remains with an argument that the media should not be seen to be leaning towards a particular presidential candidate. But a defiant Mutuma has kicked off the process to conduct an overhaul and to the effect is already positioning his preferred reporters.

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Bernard Mwinzi

In his new lineup, Mutuma wants on board weekend editor Bernard Mwinzi and other like-minded journalists like Nyeri bureau chief who is being brought to Nairobi. Also to be brought on board is growth editor Harry Misiko, well known within the organisation as a staunch anti-Raila since time immemorial, making it easier for him to form the Mutuma team. Inside sources told Weekly Citizen that apart from his open opposition to Raila, Misiko has fallen out with his colleagues who accuse him of being bullish. To demonstrate that he is ready for his new task as assigned by Mutuma, he took charge of the recent interview of the embattled Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru at her home and which was splashed on the front page two days in a row.

Harry Misiko

Head of news Washington Gichuru is also said to be a tangatanga sympathiser. According to sources, Pam, despite her position now feels that her hands are tied following frequent internal and external threats in her attempts to make things work professionally. Recently, Ruto castigated her over a story that did not go down well with him. It is worth noting that Mutuma who now lives in Karen and has houses in South C and rides a Sh17million ship of a car last year interviewed Uhuru and from that time Nation seemed to lean towards Uhuru. Those in the know say Mutuma is just being pragmatic as he knows Uhuru is outgoing and wants someone to continue the good times for him.


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