Nairobi – The 2022 Presidential Debate Secretariat has confirmed that the debate scheduled for Tuesday will go ahead as scheduled despite concerns raised by the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya and Kenya Kwanza coalitions.
The secretariat headed by Clifford Machoka said in a statement that the debate will be held at the main campus of the Catholic University of East Africa in Karen from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“We continue to engage all stakeholders, including the various presidential campaign teams. We are committed to making the debates as inclusive and representative as possible, for the benefit of the Kenyan people,” he said.
This is after the Azimio La Umoja One Presidential Campaign Secretariat in Kenya reported that Raila Odinga would not attend the debate but would instead take part in a televised town hall meeting at Jericho Social Hall after Ruto’s demands on subjects.
Odinga campaign secretariat spokesman Makau Mutua says Raila cannot debate United Democratic Alliance presidential candidate William Ruto, who he says has no respect for ethics and public morals.
“Our adversary has no respect for ethics, public morals or shame, which is why he demanded that the debate not focus on corruption, integrity, ethics and governance – the key existential question facing Kenya. These questions are at the heart of the Azimio Campaign. Any debate devoid of these questions will be an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans,” he said.
Ruto’s UDA demanded the allocation of a time slot dedicated to key issues, including health and the economy, Odinga’s Azimio threatened to withdraw if the debate is not anchored on the fight against corruption.
“That’s why we have no intention of sharing a national podium with someone who lacks decency. As is well known, our adversary has crossed the country hurling epithets at us and other key national leaders, including vile and sexist attacks,” Mutua said.
The standard bearer of the UDA assured that he would participate in the presidential debate on Tuesday. During a campaign tour in Kericho where he continued to build support for his presidential bid, Ruto made his pledge.
“I want to assure Kenyans that I will attend the debate because I want to explain to Kenyans the plan we have as Kenya Kwanza. On Tuesday I will be at the debate because Kenyans want to make informed choices,” Ruto said. .
The secretariat of the presidential team stressed that the questions asked will be selected by the moderators.
“As per the presidential debate guidelines, we have shared the topic areas with all candidates and the moderators will endeavor to cover all said topics within the given timeframe,” he said.
The Presidential Debates Secretariat is a joint body of the Media Owners Association, the Media Council of Kenya and the Kenya Editors’ Guild. The Secretariat organizes presidential debates in election years and has done so for the past 10 years in 2013 and 2017.