The 2017 Presidential debate is set for July 24 but everything hangs in the balance.
Earlier this month, President Kenyatta and his main rival Raila Odinga pulled out of the televised presidential debates even as the August 8 elections near.
But there is another problem:
The organizing committee has stated that majority of candidates are yet to confirm attendance less than a week before the D-Day.
Initially, the live broadcast debate had been set for July 10 but had to be postponed to July 24th.
The July 10th plan was shelved after the two main front-runners, President Uhuru and NASA flag bearer hinted that they would not take part in the debate.
They cited issues to do with organization.
The organizing committee team has, however, stated that they had assured the candidates’ teams that everything is in place.
The committee also revealed that they had been in constant communication with teams from both sides of the debate.
But there is more:
Yesterday (July 17th), the two main running mates, Deputy President William Ruto and Kalonzo Musyoka of NASA, snubbed the live broadcast running mates debate.
The Deputy President was to be represented by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa but this did not happen.
The NASA team said that there had been no formal communication from the organizing committee.
The team also alleged that they learned about the debate from the media (**side eye**).
The debate carried on despite the absence of all running mates except one, Eliud Kariara.
Kenyans did not let this slide easily as they have been patiently waiting for the debate. There was a lot of noise on various social media platforms.
Most Kenyans applauded Kariara’s bravery while expressing their disappointments about the turn of events (the snub).
The organizing committee has stated that the debate will go on as scheduled despite reports that Raila and Uhuru may snub it.
Uhuru’s team had already stated that the President will not be taking part in the presidential debate alleging that they were not consulted.
On the other hand, Raila Odinga’s team has confirmed that he is ready to take part in the debate under the condition that President Uhuru attends.
The NASA team is especially prepared to take on President Uhuru over corruption cases that have been witnessed under his leadership.
The six other presidential candidates have stated that they will not take part in the presidential debates if organizers proceed to pursue a separate debate for the two main front-runners, Raila and Uhuru.
They described the two-tier approach as discriminatory saying that all presidential candidates are equal in the eyes of the law.
The first ever televised presidential debate was held in 2013, and all candidates were in attendance. Let’s see how events unfold during the 2017 Presidential Debate.
Candidates Expected at the 2017 Presidential Debate
- Uhuru Kenyatta
- Raila Odinga
- Michael Wainaina
- Cyrus Jirongo
- Japheth Kavinga
- Joe Nyaga
- Ekuru Aukot
- Abduba Dida
Who are the Running Mates?
- William Ruto
- Kalonzo Musyoka
- Eliud Kariara
- Emmanuel Nzai
- Joseph Momanyi
- Miriam Mutua
- Titus N’getuny
- Moses Maranga