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AZAM responds to journalist’s call for equality in job advert

Kenyan broadcast journalist Francis Okello says Tanzanian-owned media house AZAM has taken decisive action in response to his recent protest letter concerning their recent job advertisement.

The protest letter, seen by Nairobi News, had raised concerns about age restrictions in the job application process.

In an update, Okello shared a statement confirming AZAM has removed the age restrictions from their job advertisement.

This adjustment now makes all interested applicants eligible to apply, with the application deadline remaining unchanged.

Okello’s protest letter, penned to AZAM, firmly requested the retraction of their job advertisement for 11 positions due to the age cap imposed, which he believed perpetuated “workplace discrimination.”

He contended that such practices were in direct violation of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution, the Employment Act (2007), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) statutes.

In the letter, Okello granted AZAM a 48-hour ultimatum to remove the age cap and re-advertise the job positions without the discriminatory restrictions.

Expressing his satisfaction with AZAM’s response, Okello stated:

“I am pleased to share with you that upon a brief examination of their LinkedIn page, it appears that AZAM has indeed taken action (17 hours ago) in response to my request. They have removed the age restrictions, making all of you eligible to apply, despite the application deadline remaining the same.”

Okello reaffirmed his commitment to monitoring the process to ensure transparency and fairness.

He also encouraged others to report any irregularities they may encounter to collectively and vigorously defend their right to equal opportunities.

Okello had expressed concerns about the foundations of this agreement, citing uncertainties and potential dangers.

The core of Okello’s protest centers around AZAM’s recent job postings.

He pointed out that some of the positions had specified age limits and required relevant experience, practices that he believes violate the Kenyan Constitution and labour laws.

Okello noted that Article 27 (4) of the Constitution of Kenya (2010) expressly prohibits discrimination based on factors such as age.

He argued that by imposing a maximum age limit of 25 years for recruits, AZAM restricts the right to work for qualified Kenyan youth outside that age bracket despite the lack of opportunities due to the departure of previous live sports broadcasters from the local scene.

Furthermore, Okello contended that this age cap does not seem to be justified as an inherent job requirement and contradicts the Employment Act’s provisions (2007).

He cited relevant sections of the Employment Act that emphasize promoting equal employment opportunities and eliminating all forms of discrimination.

Okello demanded the withdrawal and immediate review of AZAM’s job advertisement dated October 2, 2023, in his letter.

AZAM recently secured a multi-shilling broadcast rights deal to televise the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League matches on the Pay-TV channel for seven years.

The Tanzanian based media house is expected to televise the Mashemeji derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards on October 7, 2023.

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