Shipi FM fires presenter over ‘increment request’

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Shipi FM fires presenter over ‘increment request’

ONDANGWA – Shipi FM radio presenter Gustav Sheehama was last week dismissed after requesting for improved working conditions.

Sheehama, who is popularly known as ‘Gee’, informed this paper that he was fired from his job on 30 August, just a day after all Shipi FM employees requested a salary increment.

He does not understand why he was singled out, when all his colleagues also requested for an upward salary adjustment. 

“I don’t understand, why it is only me to be fired? I decided to report for work as usual, until I got an explanation on why I was fired. Unfortunately, I was stopped by eight police officers that I found at the door of the radio station,” Sheehama said. According to him, he is yet to receive any formal communication about the termination, leaving him to conclude that requesting for the increment was his only sin. 

“I wish I could just put it behind me. I wish I could just get over it but I can’t because I feel being discriminated against is terrible for someone’s self-esteem and it’s terrible for someone who already struggles,” Sheehama lamented. 

Shipi FM was off for most of last Wednesday as workers went on strike, standing in solidarity with Sheehama.

Shipi FM is a community radio station established in 2016. Since its establishment, at least 11 employees have been dismissed for raising grievances with the radio’s founder, Martin Shipanga.
In a letter dated 30 August, employees indicated that they were shocked and saddened by the unfair dismissal of Sheehama.
“We have been observing this unfair dismissal of staff members going on for a while, while we remained silent,” reads part of the letter. 

They further said that this time they would stand together as a team.
“Shipi FM is not the building or the equipment, but the people who make the radio work,” the letter further read.

When contacted for comment last week, Shipanga was not aware of the strike or the radio being off, as he is at his farm.
“Sheehama is not fired, but retrenched in line with the retrenchment [Labour] Act and the solidarity strike is sabotage by the employees,” said Shipanga in a telephonic interview.
He said the retrenchment comes with the restructuring of the company and an attempt to cut costs.
Shipanga claimed that the retrenchment of Sheehama did not come after they made demands for better working conditions and a salary increment.
The employees said that they will not stop until justice is served.