KTN's Zubeida Koome Responds to Critics After Sakaja Drama

  • KTN News Swahili anchor Zubeidah Kananu (left) and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
    KTN News Swahili anchor Zubeidah Kananu (left) and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
  • KTN News anchor and editor, Zubeida Koome, has told off critics after clashing with Nairobi Senator, Johnson Sakaja, during the gubernatorial debate.

    On Wednesday, July 20, Zubeida denounced reports that she is inclined to a specific political faction, noting that she does not act for any political party or coalition.

    "While executing my duties, I do not lean or tend to support any political divide. Neither do I project my interest or those of my allies.

    "I was sent to serve Kenyans, and that has been my principle for the last 15 years," Zubeida told Vybez Radio.

    KTN News Presenter Zubeida Koome.
    KTN News Presenter, Zubeida Koome.
    Zubeida Koome

    Defending her fiery exchange with Sakaja during the debate on July 11, the seasoned Swahili news anchor maintained that she strictly followed the rules set by the debate organisers.

    "I did not question him because I was leaning towards one political side. The question was in line with the debate moderation procedures we must adhere to.

    "Two minutes are allocated for each candidate to respond to questions posed by the moderators and one more minute in case of a rebuttal," Zubeida clarified during an interview with Sheila Kwamboka alias Kwambox on Vybez Radio, owned by the Standard Group.

    The KTN News anchor faced backlash from Kenyans after asking the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) gubernatorial hopeful if his real name was Sakaja, a question that saw tempers flare.

    Zubeida: Is your name Sakaja?

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

    Zubeida: I'm the one asking the questions

    Sakaja: If you ask unnecessary questions I give you an unnecessary answers.

    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. My name is Arthur Johnson Sakaja.

    Despite the criticism, the Presidential Debates Secretariat on Tuesday, July 19, picked Zubeida to moderate the 2022 Deputy Presidential Debate alongside Citizen TV's political editor and reporter Francis Gachuri.

    The duo moderated the debate between Roots Party's Justina Wamae and Agano's Ruth Mutua, who had garnered less than five per cent in three recent opinion polls.

    Zubeida and Gachuri replaced TV47's Linda Alela and KBC's John Jacob Kioria in a last-minute turn of events that saw the national broadcaster protest.

    KTN News Presenter Zubeida Koome strikes a pose on KTN News Studios
    KTN News Presenter Zubeida Koome strikes a pose on KTN News Studios.
    Zubeida Koome