The Kenyan media are planning an American-style presidential debates ahead of the Marc 4, 2013 general election. Eight television stations and 32 radio stations announced the venture for an unprecedented simultaneous broadcast of the debates between November 26, 2012 and February 11, 2013.
At a joint press briefing, the Presidential Debates Steering Committee, comprising the chief executive officers of Royal Media Services, The Nation Media Group, The Standard Group, Radio Africa Group, Media Max, The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, the Capital Group and Kass Group said a total of three presidential debates will be staged with topics and questions to be crafted by a broad-based editorial committee.
The first debate will air on Monday November 26 at 7.30pm, the second on January 14, 2013 and the third and final on the February 11, 2013.
The debates will adopt a town-hall style format with each debate having two moderators and four panellists who will engage the presidential aspirants in a question and answer session for 90 minutes.
The rules of engagement will be agreed upon between the media joint editorial steering committee, the presidential candidates and their campaign teams.
The chairman of the Joint Media Presidential Debates Steering Committee, Royal Media managing director Wachira Waruru said the debates will provide Kenyan voters with the opportunity to listen to, interrogate and interact with the presidential candidates.
The debates will also afford the candidates the opportunity to reach out to the widest possible audience and explain how they would govern Kenya if elected.
The debates are aimed at helping voters make informed choices, promoting national cohesion and steering the campaigns towards the quality of leadership rather than personality based politics.
The media houses have engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to offer audit services in order to ensure best practices are applied in all processes surrounding the project. The public can send their questions and comments in advance through the SMS number 2282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.