• "My opponent likes an head start. Nilikuwa nataka kumpatia hiyo juu amezoea kupewa," Sakaja said, when asked why he was late.

• The Senator said he came in to assure Kenyans that he is still in the race.

went hard at each other during the debate
Sakaja vs Igathe went hard at each other during the debate

Nairobi governor aspirant Johnson Sakaja has arrived for the Nairobi boss debate.

He arrived 20 minutes past 8pm when the debate had started at Catholic University for Eastern Africa main campus in Karen.

"My opponent likes an head start. Nilikuwa nataka kumpatia hiyo juu amezoea kupewa," Sakaja said, when asked why he was late.

Loosely translated to, "My opponent likes a head start. I wanted to give it to him since he used to be given things."

But in a quick rejoinder, Igathe said Sakaja was late because of the traffic within Nairobi.

"I know he is late due to traffic. He shouldn't worry, I will sort out the traffic when I  become governor," he said.

But Sakaja said he came in to assure Kenyans that he is still in the race after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gazetted him on Sunday. He is currently facing a case regarding his academic credentials.

During the debate, the two went after each other on their suitability to run the affairs of the city.

The candidates, who initially referred to each other as good friends, putting their friendship aside and tore into each other at the slightest opportunity.

Sakaja vs Igathe

Igathe was the first to throw the first punch when he said he was the best fit as the Nairobi Governor as opposed to school dropouts, his remark, was undoubtedly made in reference to the controversy surrounding Sakaja's university academic qualifications.

Sakaja returned the favour moments later when Igathe at some point said he had achieved a lot as governor during the short stint he served as Mike Sonko's deputy following the 2017 general election.

"You have never been a governor," Sakaja said, to which Igathe quickly retorted that he was deputy governor.

The senator said Igathe abandoned office after he was scared away by cartels, saying Nairobi residents should be careful not to put him back in office as governor lest he runs scared again.

Moments later, Igathe had another opportunity to throw punches at Sakaja when the senator insisted on continuing to speak even after the moderators told him his time was up.

Zubeida Koome and Mark Masai had to intervene to get Sakaja to allow his opponent to speak.

"Mambo ya Nairobi ni mazito.  Shida za Nairobi hauwezi zungumzia kwa dakika moja, baada azungumze naomba utuongeze dakika moja zaidi," Sakaja said.

(The troubles in Nairobi are too hefty, you can't address them within a minute. I ask that you give us one more minute)

The moderators, however, refused to bend the rules and reminded Sakaja that he arrived late for the debate.

"An answer to a question is a minute and a half and you can see clearly that a rebuttal is a minute and we did accommodate your lateness," Masai said. 

"Over to you Igathe," he added. 

To this, Igathe said in Swahili that what Sakaja was demonstrating was lack of discipline that is synonymous with people who didn't finish school.

"Ukosefu wa nidhamu ni kawaida ya watu ambao hawakumaliza shule." 

At the tail end of the debate, Igathe was given an opportunity to respond to allegations by Sakaja that he is under state capture from those funding his campaigns.

Igathe said he funds his own campaigns and challenged Sakaja to provide evidence to the contrary.

"Those are lies told by a lying liar," he said.

"I will be glad to do that," Sakaja responded. "Of course, we have receipts of billboards and you know meetings of chiefs, meetings of DCCs," Sakaja added.

To that, Igathe said, "I will in equal measure table all the false documents senator Sakaja has cited to the republic of Kenya and to Constitutional institutions tomorrow morning on my Twitter."

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