Mount Kenya University founder and chairman Prof. Simon Gicharu has been exposed by respected Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi for not paying his employees through a proxy betting company that he co-owns together with his son identified as Mr Kevin.
Mwangi posted the lamentations of the Nairobi-based Triple5bet employees on his Twitter handle after the frustrated employees wrote to him informing him that they have exhausted all avenues to recover their money.
‘Am writing to ask for your help. Am an employee of Triple 5bet and it’s a very sad man that for six months now the owners have refused to pay us and when you ask for salaries you are threatened. Just sad. Some of us Nyumba zimefungwa and our kids can’t even go to school. Six months of not even a coin.,’’ one of the posts read.
‘This company is actually owned by rich people, the owner of Mount Kenya University and TV 47, Simon Gicharu and his son Kevin,’’ another post from Boniface Mwangi verified Twitter handle reads.
The frustrated employees, totalling to thirty, say they are looking for a pro-bono lawyer who can help them sue Mr Gicharu together with his son.
‘But tukipata lawyer to help us itakua poa. Imagine 20 plus staff all claiming six months’ salary,’’ the employees say in their lamentation to the respectable blogger and activist who is well known for fighting social injustice in Kenya.
Mr Gicharu is not new to controversy, his employees at his upcoming television TV 47 are already complaining for delayed salaries and poor renumerations.
For example, correspondents working for his television lament that they are being paid Shs. 500 for every footage they send to the station and some have not been paid for four months.
‘In public, people view him as the most generous person but to his own employees, he is the stingiest person. We know he (Gicharu) can only give you money when he is in a crisis or when he wants your assistance. He pays correspondents Shs. 500, no medical cover, no retainer, no logistic facilitation, no data or airtime to facilitate filing the stories to the newsroom,’’ says an employee working for TV 47.
‘Why would a person who calls himself an educationist own a betting company to impoverish young people,’’ another employee at Mount Kenya University asked
This comes a few months after Simon Gicharu was exposed for trying to interfere with running and grabbing of Tatu city land that is based in Kiambu.