East Africa’s most respected political cartoonist, Godfrey Mwampemwa alias Gado was reportedly sacked by Nation Media Group after two decades as a contributor to the Daily Nation Newspaper.
The speculation built up after he was given a break in March last year of which Gado stated that he was taking a sabbatical from editorial work and nobody had forced him into anything.
In November last year is when Gado realised that his ‘sabbatical’ was preparing him for exit as his contract with Nation Media was terminated. He was called up in a meeting by NMG Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi who told him that “they” had reached a decision to relieve him of his duties.
“It wasn’t that it happened – rather, how it all happened that I am disappointed in,” GADO said recently in an interview with John-Allan Namu, the former KTN investigative journalist.
There are allegations that NMG succumbed to the suppression by Jubilee government as the leadership were not happy with the cartoon columnist with his attacks against them.
In January 2015, the Tanzania government banned NMG owned, The East African, the same week Gado drew a half-naked President Jakaya Kikwete being massaged by beauties. The depiction was apparently to capture the scandals that were dogging Kikwete government. The cartoon is believed to be the reason the paper was shut in Tanzania as it enraged the ruling party.
Gado, one of the best cartoonists in Africa has been doing funny cartoon designs since the 1990s across three governments and it looks like the new crop of leadership has not been as tolerant to his work.