•During the debate, a live audience representing the various sectors of the society will be present, and an impartial moderator will be sought
•The secretariat says all candidates will receive fair and equal coverage to allow them to share their manifestos with Kenyans.
The Kenya Editors Guild has said the forthcoming presidential debates will be credible and fair.
The presidential and deputy presidential debates are expected to take place in July. The dates have not yet been set.
The Presidential Debate Secretariat on Thursday said all candidates will receive fair and equal coverage to allow them share their manifestos with Kenyans.
The secretariat is a partnership between the media owners of Kenya, the Kenya Editors Guild and the Media Council of Kenya.
“The presidential debate does not dictate what airs on a particular station. Our mandate is on the debate which ends there,” Media Owners Association chairman Stephen Gitagama said.
“If there are issues with individual media houses they are not related to presidential debates and we should not mix the two.”
The secretariat organises presidential debates during election and has done so in 2013 and 2017.
Gitagama spoke during the signing of a partnership with Usawa Agenda who have agreed to support the presidential debate and update Kenyans on the progress.
This comes after UDA advised DP William Ruto to withdraw from the debate, alleging media bias.
“This is the best platform you will have. This is not a small crowd. It is a platform that reaches Kenyans and the world and I would encourage all candidates to participate,” Gitagama said.
Kenya Editors Guild president Churchill Otieno said measures have been put in place to ensure the secretariat comes up with a platform that is as inclusive as possible.
This has involved reaching out to the different parties, entities and individuals who are of interest to the debate including the aggrieved party.
“We have shared with them the guidelines on how the debates will run including the candidate that complained; we did write to them in April and we reached out and we asked that they share with us the expectations,” Otieno said.
During the debate, a live audience representing the various sectors of the society will be present and the public will have a platform to send in their questions as well.
The contenders are expected to sell their agendas and what is in store for Kenyans.
Otieno said the steering committee of the presidential debate has put together a panel comprising editors in chief and managing editors from key media houses.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris