Citizen TV presenters could not hold their disdain for Digital Strategist, Dennis Itumbi, as they ranted at his suggestion on having the iconic athlete Eliud Kipchoge awarded a Head of State Commendation for his historic feat in Vienna Austria.
Kipchoge on Saturday, October 12, ran a 42-kilometre marathon in under two hours, clocking an unprecedented 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds.
On Thursday, October 17, Citizen TV's News Gang presenters joined activist Boniface Mwangi in condemning Itumbi, claiming that the presidential awards had lost meaning and reputation.
"This debate has surfaced every year when we are about to mark this occasion and everyone is anxious to see who will be awarded. But where are we with this thing? It lost meaning." Joe Ageyo remarked.
Francis Gachuri lashed out at Itumbi stating that the authenticity of persons awarded by President Uhuru Kenyatta was in question.
"A few years ago, not many had it and it meant a lot. Those receiving it like Githeri man (Martin Kimotho), are overshadowing the seriousness of the awards. This country is not short of heroes and heroines. Let them look out for the right people and the right reasons to award them," Gachuri lamented.
Yvonne Okwara and Linus Kaikai concurred with Gachuri, asserting that it required one to have performed an exemplary act to be honoured with the top awards.
"In the old days, you would find a lot of pride in the award after they were bestowed. For example long-serving chiefs. They were awarded based on service, sacrifice and heroism," Kaikai recalled.
Itumbi took to social media on Thursday, October 17, to respond to News Gang's assertions. He disputed some of their contentions but agreed on one fact.
"My good friends on the panel, in August 2017, the media led us in celebrating Githeri man and you declared him our hero.
"That said, I agree with you that we need to rethink, reimagine and re-do the way awards are done. One way is the involvement of the public in the nominations. We suggested a website in 2015 where such heroes would be identified and we pray that it will be implemented," Itumbi acknowledged.
Video courtesy of Citizen TV.
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