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Raila, Ruto face-0ff in televised debate set for July

Raila, Ruto face-0ff in televised debate set for July

By Justus Karanja

The televised 2022 Presidential Debate will take place in July ahead of the August 9th General Election.

The debate will be organised and executed through a partnership between the Media Owners Association, the Media Council of Kenya and the Kenya Editors’ Guild in consultation with Political Parties.

The media partners have appointed Clifford Machoka, currently Head of External Affairs & Marketing, Nation Media Group as the Head of the Presidential Debates Secretariat.

Machoka will coordinate a diverse team of members from the partner institutions to engage political party partners, stakeholders in the electoral process and organise the 2022 Presidential and Deputy Presidential Debates.

The leading presidential hopefuls are ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto (both pictured).

Machoka will be assisted by Leo Mutisya, Head of Research & Media Monitoring, Media Council of Kenya and Rosalia Omungo, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Editors’ Guild.

A team of senior editors from across media houses will provide stewardship of the content aspects given how critical the debates are to ensure the public interest obligations are served.

Further structures have been put in place to secure the interest of Kenyans and to deliver fairness to all concerned, especially audiences and candidates.

Through a statement, the media stakeholders noted that for a country that has so many diverse political voices, debates have become the place for clarity of priorities, public policies, ideas and other development aspects key to the Kenyan people.

‘The debates play a significant role in the way we choose our leaders. During these debates, the public gets to listen to the candidates and gauge what their priorities could be once they assume office. In that way, they catalyse issue-based elections; provide an opportunity for candidates to debate, interact and engage; and enable Kenyans to make informed decisions. Such efforts call for collective action by media stakeholders, given the centrality of the media in shaping public opinion,” read the statement in part.

Since 2013, the media has collectively moved to entrench the culture of Presidential Debates as one of the cornerstone pillars of our democracy and electoral process for the benefit of the Kenyan people.

In 2013, all eight (8) candidates came together to engage each other and the Kenyan people on the future of Kenya across two (2) debates, each over 2 hours long.

In 2017, the media again came together and held yet again two (2) Presidential Debates and one (1) Deputy Presidential Debate.

“It is this culture of freedom of expression that has encouraged various stakeholders in the electoral process to hold debates for political and other professional organisation elective positions,” notes the media stakeholders. 

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