- The first debate will be moderated by Linda Alela of TV47 and John Jacob Kioria of KBC.
- The Karua-Rigathi faceoff will be guided by Sophia Wanuna from KTN News and James Smart from NTV.
Kenya Editors’ Guild president Churchill Otieno wants presidential contenders and their deputies to attend the debates mounted by the media outlets “to show respect for the voters.”
On Monday, Otieno said the question of whether or not the candidates will show up “boils down to the level of regard and respect they have for their voters." Any of the excuses at play notwithstanding.
The latest round of debates will run on Tuesday evening from 6:30pm featuring running mates.
It is tiered so that the candidates polling below five per cent go first.
Justina Wamae, the running mate to Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah will face Ruth Mutua, the running mate of David Mwaure of the Agano party.
Then Martha Karua and Rigathi Gachagua’s debate will run from 8pm for 90 minutes.
The debate is organised by Media Owners' Association, Kenya Editors' Guild and Media Council of Kenya in partnership with many other non-state actors.
Wajackoya and Mwaure have protested the tiering of the debate, complaining that they deserved to be included in the full set to face Raila and Ruto as well as their deputies.
Deputy President William Ruto’s camp has not expressly committed to attending the conversation, citing unsubstantiated media bias.
In fact, The DP has also claimed that the debate has already been rigged.
But Otieno said the debate was not about winning or losing the elections but a platform to enable the candidates to show up and have what they stand for interrogated.
“We are not out to sway the election one way or the other. It is an opportunity for the aspirants to honour the voters and espouse their platforms to allow them to be tested,” Otieno said.
The KEG president said Tuesday’s debate was on course and the moderators have fully prepared, with five topics isolated for the discussion.
He said the topics have not been shared to any of the political outfits and that the moderators will generate the questions independently.
The first debate will be moderated by Linda Alela of TV47 and John Jacob Kioria of KBC.
The Karua-Rigathi faceoff will be guided by Sophia Wanuna from KTN News and James Smart from NTV.
The Panel of commentators will be moderated by Citizen TV's Trevor Ombija.
Otieno also dispelled the claims of rigging in the debate, asserting that the organisers have engaged the campaign teams from February this year when the presidential field was becoming clearer.
“We have reasonably engaged the presidential teams from as far back as February. It did not start yesterday and we have tried as much as acceptably possible to have their concerns addressed and recommendations are taken into account,” he said.
Asked to explain the basis of tiering the process, Otieno said the decision was justified to give those with the most realistic chance of winning the elections adequate opportunity to have their ideas tested.
“Democracy is about the majority having their way and the minority their say. The tiering gives those with the most realistic chance adequate time but also elevates the seriousness of the conversation.”
He said about 400 professionals are working behind the scenes to mount the fete and that a lot of research and fact-checking is done to ensure the candidates trade in facts.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)