Ctizen Tv’s Salim Swaleh has left the station in a low-profile exit that has left the industry guessing.
Salim, who anchors on Citizen Nipashe evening news programme, is said to have quietly resigned last week with sources intimating that he could end up at NTV, which is scouting for Swahili anchor after the exit of Jamila Mohamed to Citizen TV or K24, which is headed by his friend and former boss at Royal Media Services (RMS), Peter Opondo.
According to Business Today, his resignation points to a deal gone sour and conflict of interest.
Salim may have found himself caught in the middle of a war pitying Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and interior Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho.
The two have been at loggerheads, with Sonko accusing the PS of undermining him and scheming to overthrow him from the helm of Nairobi City County Government.
Salim was allegedly used by Sonko to fix Mr Kibicho by recording the PS saying negative things about the embattled governor and sharing the audio with Sonko.
After recording the PS at his office at the Office of the President on Harambee House, Salim reportedly delivered the tape to Sonko at City Hall. In the tape, Kibicho called Sonko all sorts of names.
Almost immediately, Sonko called a press conference and Kibicho got wind of what had happened and immediately contacted Purity Gathoni, Royal Media Service founder S.K. Macharia’s wife, to report the incident, touching off events that led to the anchor’s exit. As vice-chair of RMS, Mrs Macharia oversees the day-today-running of Kenya’s biggest broadcasting house and plays an instrumental role in hiring and firing.
It is not clear whether he was paid for this “assignment”.
Salim Swaleh joined Citizen TV in June 2016 and started off with presenting Kiswahili news on Sunday, taking over the Sunday show from Lulu Hassan and Kanze Dena.
Prior to joining Citizen Television, Salim was an editor at Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) based in Iranian capital, Tehran, for eight years. Salim was also a radio presenter and a special analyst on African news on the IRIB’s affiliate, Press Television.