was a debate the other day about who should be allowed to participate
in the upcoming live presidential debate. In the 2013 election, all
presidential candidates were accommodated in the first TV debate of its
kind in Kenya.
Apart from the famous ‘Willing Buyer Willing Seller’ statement by
then candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, there’s really nothing else worth
remembering from the two debates. Reason being the crowded nature of the
podium, translating to limited time to ask questions to the candidates
Some weeks back, State House Insider Dennis Itumbi
started a hashtag demanding that only Raila and Uhuru participate in the
Presidential debate, and Ruto and Kalonzo in the Deputy Presidential
debate. And I couldn’t agree more.
In the US, the rest of the world may be forgiven to think that there
are usually only 2 presidential candidates. However, there are always
others on the ballot sheet, who poll so bad that they neither get
invited for the presidential debates, nor get any news airplay during
Why then should Kenya be any different? Why do we take away crucial
debate time from the real candidates, to entertain a bunch of jokers.
Speaking of jokers, perennial presidential candidate Nazlin Umar
was at Kasarani on Saturday. She had joined more than 2000 ‘Independent
Candidates’ who have decamped from Jubilee after losing badly in the
just concluded primaries. Nazlin is one of the 10 Presidential
Candidates set to be on the ballot in August.
The group calling itself ‘Kenya Alliance of Independent Candidates’ (KAIC) is headed by Kiambu Governor William Kabogo deputized by Uasin Gishu loser Bundotich Buzeki.
The group pledged their loyalty to Uhuru Kenyatta, but said they will support him outside Jubilee.
Though Nazlin did not speak, it is ironic she was in a meeting to
endorse her rival. And a few weeks from now she will demand to share the
same debate podium. I hope the media houses will not lower themselves
to this level.
Actually, TV airplay and debate format shows should be restricted to
those with a realistic chance to win in their respective races.
That should eliminate people like the arrogant Miguna Miguna, of whom I have a better chance being Pope than him being Governor.. and I’m not even Catholic.
Ⓒ 2014 Nairobi Wire