President Uhuru Kenyatta skipped the highly anticipated presidential debate on Monday (24/7/17).
President Uhuru’s main rival, NASA Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga, used the opportunity to sell his candidature in a live televised debate at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
Speaking to a local daily, Jubilee Party Vice Chairman David Murathe had announced that the President would miss the showdown.
“The position is that the President is not coming but if he decided to show up, that’s his prerogative,” Mr Murathe stated.
Raila noted that his first mission if he manages to win the top prize will be to bring down the cost of living, address food shortage, create employment and also control rent.
“It’s my fourth time I am running for the presidency. I represent change. The coalition that nominated me wants to bring change. We want to address mismanagement of the economy,” Raila indicated.
When asked to justify his claim that the military will be used by the Government to rig the elections, Raila said that his word is true and cannot be contradicted.
“I was a Prime Minister and I used to sit in the security organs. I have information and no one can contradict. It’s not the responsibility of the military to provide security internally without the express authority of parliament. There are 2 million Kenyans who went to the booth and only elected the President. We have said that the military should desist from the temptation of interfering with the results,” he noted.
On the issue of rent restriction, the former Prime Minister pointed out that his team shall invoke provisions of the Rent Restrictions Act to guard the poor from exploitation.
“It’s a free market economy yes but we have a law called Rent restriction Act which is meant to address the cost of housing and protect the poor from exploitation. This law has not been implemented. We are going to enforce the law and ensure the [poor are not forced to pay what they can’t afford,” he said.
Other presidential candidates contesting in the elections include; Cyrus Jirongo of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Ekuru Aukot of Thirdway Alliance, Abduba Dida of the Alliance for Real Change (ARC), and Independent candidates Joseph Nyagah, Michael Wainaina and Japheth Kavinga.
Out of the six, only Aukot, Kavinga and Wainaina were present for the the first phase of the debate which started earlier in the day.