Zubeidah Kananu, Sakaja's Heated Exchange Elicits Uproar

  • KTN News Swahili anchor Zubeidah Kananu (left) and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
    KTN News Swahili anchor Zubeidah Kananu (left) and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
    File
  • The Nairobi gubernatorial debate was full of intrigues as both the Azimio La Umoja candidate Polycarp Igathe and UDA's Johnson Sakaja went for each other's jugular at the slightest opportunity. 

    The event, held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on Monday, July 11, gave the candidates an opportunity to articulate their plans on how to fix issues affecting Nairobi residents.

    However, part of the highlight of the event was the back and forth between KTN News Swahili anchor Zubeidah Kananu and Sakaja. 

    While responding to the questions, Igathe poked holes into the credibility of Sakaja's degree.

    Zubeidah followed up by posing the question to Sakaja- one that he did not take too kindly. 

    Zubeidah: Is your name Sakaja?

    Sakaja: I believe that's the person you invited. Is your name Zubeidah?

    Zubeidah: I'm the one asking the questions

    Sakaja: If you ask unnecessary questions I give you an unnecessary answer!

    Zubeidah: You were called to provide answers to the requisite questions. Just tell us if your name is Sakaja

    Sakaja: Who did you invite? I think we need to filter out the issues Nairobi residents are facing instead of trivialising this debate as to what my name is. It is Arthur Johnson Sakaja.

    The exchange drew mixed reactions, from fellow journalists and the general public who weighed in on the matter. Citizen TV news anchor, Mashirima Kapombe, defended Zubeidah's conduct during the debate, noting that she was up to the task. 

    "Igathe cast aspersions on Sakaja Johnson's identity and Zubeidah Kananu gave the senator an opportunity to respond. I think Sakaja should have kept his calm, charming demeanor and responded during the Nairobi Gubernatorial Debate."

    "Some of you calling Zubeidah unprintable names here is unfair. She was doing her job the best way she could at that moment. There are better ways of showing dissatisfaction in how someone, anyone handles an issue. Critique to build not to tear down," she stated.

    Her words were echoed by fellow journalist Leon Lidigu of Nation, who challenged the public to express their opinions in an objective manner. 

    "Good people, as we go into more intense election coverage, I pray that you learn to critique and engage journalists' objectivity and not abuse any of them. You don't have to use social media to bully, insult or tear anyone down to put across a point. Kindly stop it, " he stated.

    The back and forth also drew the attention of politicians who noted that the remarks deviated from the real issues that should have been addressed.

    "Zubeidah Kananu is on a learning Curve, all she wanted to do is her job. She did it the best way she knew. Let her be. Some of the Punchlines, I have seen being tweeted, happened because she asked, even if you do not like how she did it," Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi opined.

    Azimio Nairobi County gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe and UDA's Johnson Sakaja during the Nairobi County Gubernatorial debate at CUEA on July 11, 2022.
    Azimio Nairobi County gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe and UDA's Johnson Sakaja during the Nairobi County Gubernatorial debate at CUEA on July 11, 2022.
    Kenyans.co.ke
    abuse