Ruto, Gachagua out of Presidential debates

Ruto, Gachagua out of Presidential debates

By Peter Ochieng

Kenya Kwanza presidential flagbearer, Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua will not participate in the presidential debates, ahead of next month’s general elections.

According to Gatundu South Member of Parliament (MP) Moses Kuria, the decision has been arrived at over what they term media bias.

Kuria is the Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) leader, an affiliate of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

Kuria claims the media has shown open bias against politicians aligned to the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, citing an incident that occurred during the Nairobi County gubernatorial debate, featuring Kenya Kwanza’s Johnson Sakaja and Azimio La Umoja One Kenya’s Polycarp Igathe, on Monday, July 11.

“The Zubeida Koome “Is your name Sakaja?” Quip is a clear indicator of the media bias that Kenya Kwanza has been complaining of. The Kenya Kwanza Alliance will NOT participate in both the Running Mate debate and the Presidential Debate and that is FINAL,” said Kuria.

Kuria’s sentiments were echoed by Hussein Mohamed, Ruto’s Head of presidential campaign communications.

During the Monday debate, Igathe hit out at Sakaja for allegedly presenting a questionable degree certificate before being cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), wondering if his name was really Sakaka.

One of the moderators, KTN’s Zubeida Koome asked the Nairobi Senator if his name was really Sakaja, a move that irked him.

Deputy presidential candidates’ debate will be held on July 19.

Without Gachagua, Azimio La Umoja’s Martha Karua, Roots Party’s Justina Wamae and Ruth Mutua of Agano Party will face off at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Karen, Nairobi.

The presidential debate will take place at the same venue on July 26.

Agano Party’s David Mwaure will battle Roots Party’s George Wajackoyah earlier before Azimio’s Raila Odinga faces Ruto starting at 8 pm.

If Ruto fails to attend, Odinga will have to go solo. Wajackoyah says he will not participate in the debate, if he is not given a chance to face Ruto, Raila.

“I want to debate Raila and Ruto.”

The presidential debate secretariat has been organizing presidential debates since 2013.

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