Former Nation Media Group crown jewel, Larry Madowo, has revisited his unceremonious exit from the Aga Khan IV founded media house in 2018.
Speaking during his acceptance speech at the Association of Foreign Correspondents in the US, Larry recalled how his woes started after his coverage of the swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
“I was an anchor and an editor at one of the stations, NTV, and I was on the air when our signal was taken off the air and I became one of the most critical opponents of this attempt to muzzle us,” Madowo recounted.
He recalled how his then-boss (Linus Kaikai) and a colleague (Ken Mijungu) were targeted by the government. At one point, they had to crouch under a car to evade arrest as they came out the basement of Nation Media Group.
“We made it out of the newsroom where I used to work. It’s very dramatic in the movie but in real life, it’s not. It’s smelly,” said Larry.
“One of my colleagues and our boss were earmarked for arrest by the wing of the Kenya police that is known for very brutal arrests and people disappearing. So I would have been arrested and disappeared forever. That is why we hid ourselves in a safe house,” he said.
When he returned to work, Larry said his employer gagged him in a number of ways, including not publishing his article on the ‘mock swearing-in’ of Odinga.
“I was also put off air for a while and told that I can interview these people when I come back,” he said.
“That was unacceptable for me and so I ended up publishing the same story with CNN.com and I left the organisation. I joined BBC, where I got a great job,” Larry said.