Ababu Namwamba, the cabinet secretary for sports, has addressed rumors of a relationship with well-known media figure and content producer Azziad Nasenya for the first time.
The CS refuted the accusations in an exclusive interview with Kenyans.co.ke on Friday, claiming that their conversations were strictly professional and related to Azziad’s appointment to the now-defunct Talanta Hela Committee.
Namwamba claimed that members of the team who were selected to the Committee in February unfairly and intentionally targeted out Azziad, with people harboring personal agendas. He thus questioned the rationale behind the planned attack that happened after the appointments.
“Azziad is not my girlfriend. We do not have any relationship whatsoever,” he set the record straight.
“I actually feel sorry for the poor girl. You know for me, I have been in the trenches and when you have been in the public space, you grow the skin of a crocodile on top of a hippo, covered by the skin of a buffalo and you can take all sorts of blows.”
Therefore, the CS urged the public to refrain from tarnishing the reputation of the media personality by spreading baseless and misleading accusations.
“While it is acceptable to keep public servants under scrutiny, it is also not fair to spread rumours and slander the character of other people. It is not right. Why would you want to want to destroy the reputation of somebody who, in my view, is a real hustler?” The CS wondered.
“I believe that Azziad has not been treated fairly, and I have not been treated fairly as well. Azziad is innocent as I am,” he maintained, urging his critics and fake news merchants to tone down on the claims.
Azziad was appointed to the dissolved Talanta Hela Committee by the CS on February 9 to serve in the creative technical committee.
Other notable celebrities appointed to serve on the committee were Churchill Show host Daniel Ndambuki and Spice FM radio presenter Jimmi Gathu. The team was tasked with proposing reliable systems for collecting and distributing royalties to Kenyans in the creative industry.
Notably, the committee was disbanded through a gazette notice on June 9.
Ababu thus questioned why the photo with Azziad during the Talanta Hela launch was selected and used to push hidden and baseless agendas.
When asked about the onslaught he had faced, especially from the Kenya Kwanza team who recently accused him of mismanaging the Sports Ministry, the CS revealed that he sought an audience with parliamentarians and equally addressed their concerns.
He specifically reached out to the National Assembly Leader of Majority, Kimani Ichungwah, and Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei, who claimed that Kenyan athletes wear fake Adidas kits to international tournaments.
According to Namwamba, he managed to understand the issues raised better, adding that he still maintained a cordial working relationship with the duo.
“Immediately, I saw my Majority Leader on the floor, I looked for him and asked him about it, and I could understand where he was coming from and the information that had been given to him.
“Gladys Shollei is my very good friend. We have been in the trenches together and worked together at the Command Center and BOMAS. She explained to me the areas of concerns she had which I can say were genuine,” he explained.