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Kenyan broadcast journalist protests AZAM’s discriminatory job advert

Kenyan broadcast journalist Francis Okello has penned a protest letter to Tanzanian-owned media house AZAM, raising concerns about their recent job advertisement.

In the letter dated October 3, 2023, Okello expressed his objections to what he views as discriminatory practices in AZAM’s job postings.

In the letter, Okello introduced himself as a Kenyan adult with technical skills and experience in film and television production, particularly in sports broadcast and EFP news gathering.

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He also highlighted his role as an advocate for the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms, as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya (2010).

Okello acknowledged AZAM’s partnership with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) in August 2023, which marked a significant step in local football broadcasting.

This partnership includes a 7-year broadcast deal for live coverage of Kenya’s top-tier football league until 2030.

However, he 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.

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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.

He requested that any communication regarding this matter be conducted in the same manner as the initial advertisement.

Okello also conveyed his intention to seek legal redress on behalf of qualified individuals if AZAM did not meet his demands within the next 48 hours.

Okello’s protest letter highlights the importance of adhering to constitutional and labour laws in job advertisements, advocating for equal opportunities for all qualified candidates, regardless of age.

It remains to be seen how AZAM will respond to these concerns raised by the Kenyan journalist.

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