Standard Media Group is on the rocks of collapsing over employees’ delayed salaries as the company is buried in debt.
Kenya’s oldest media house which is owned by the former President Daniel Arap Moi’s family, has delayed August payments for senior employees who include editors, accountants, managers, and reporters while correspondents are yet to receive their four months’ dues.
Not only are the current employees affected by the delay of salaries, but many of the former SG employees who were either fired or retired are also yet to receive their pension from the Liaison Group that administers the fund to non-remittance.
In addition to not remitting Pay as You Earn (PAYE) for the last five years, SG still deducted the same to its current employees.
Other required debits that are not remitted include pensions, NSSF and Sacco contributions adding up to Standard SACCO and Network SACCO where the majority of the employees are.
Most of the employees have raised concerns of the situation to Gideon Moi who is the majority shareholder hoping that since he lost the Baringo senate position, will turn his focus to rescue efforts.
A trusted source also said that a Canadian firm, who are the main satellite provider for the TV services had threatened to shut down on September 5 earlier this month.
Managers had to intervene and explain that it was a crucial time for KTN, KTN news and its sister radio stations to be off air.
Last week, SG’S woes mounted as banks cancelled existing overdraft facilities, which deprives SG of cash liquidity to provide for services like fueling cars, insurance premiums and logistics operations.
Sources also say that NCBA Bank has written notice to the Chief Executive Officer Orlando Lyomu notifying him of the decision to refer SG to the CRB for dishonouring a pledge that was made to service a Sh400 loan taken to finance the Convergence project.
SG also had to cease maintenance of important services such as Systems Applications and Products (SAP) in the finance department, PPI for editorial and advertising and Microsoft due to a debt estimated to Sh300 million.
Amidst the 3-year predicament, the board has remained silent while it is likely that this year will hit a Sh1 billion loss.