Independent presidential candidate, Ekuru Aukot, has attacked President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance (NASA) flag-bearer Raila Odinga, after their announcement on Wednesday (5/07/17) that they will not be attending the much awaited presidential debate slated for July 10.
Mr Aukot described the decision as “an act of cowardice”. He indicated that other presidential candidates in the 2017 State House race are saddened by their move, stressing that the debate is a good platform for all leaders to expound on their policies.
“President Uhuru and Raila Odinga have shown cowardice in the move to opt out. Let them come and argue with us on ideas,” noted Aukot.
Raila joined the Head of State in taking issue with the proposed debate format and refused to participate in the showdown on account of the short notice given by the organisers.
According to Senior Advisor to the former Prime Minister, Salim Lone, it would be impossible to have a substantive debate on the issues of the day with eight candidates on the podium at the same time and all within the primetime constraints.
Earlier, the Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe announced Uhuru would not take part in the debate given “insufficient consultations” and on account of the format.
The presidential debate was launched in May by the Debates Media Limited committee together with the Kenyan media houses’ journalists.
The launch was attended by:
1. Wachira Waruru – CEO Royal Media (and Chairman of the steering committee)
2. Sam Shollei – CEO The Standard Group
3. Joe Muganda – CEO Nation Media group
4. Waithaka Waihenya – CEO KBC
5. Ian Fernandes –CEO Mediamax
6. Julius Lamaon – CEO Kass Media Group
7. Joshua Chepkwony – Chairman Kass Media Group
8. Danny Mucira – General manager Radio Africa Group
9. Kuria Muchiru – Senior Partner PWC
10. Farida Karoney- Chief operating officer, Royal Media Services
11. Linus Kaikai – GM Nation Broadcasting
12. Joe Ageyo – Managing Editor TV, Standard Group
13. Clifford Machoka, Head of corporate and regulatory affairs at NMG
14. Francis Munywoki – MD Print, Standard Group (Head of Debate Secretariat)