Published On: Wed, Oct 10th, 2012

Kenya’s presidential Debate

Kenyan media houses have launched joint presidential live debates which will provide leading candidates with an opportunity to outline their policies to the public.

The debates unveiled at the Serena Hotel are a first, and will be broadcast on TV, radio, and streamed online on November 26, followed by the second on January 14, 2013 and February 11, 2013 when the third debate will be held.

In the eventuality that there is a runoff, another debate will be considered.

“It is the first time Kenyans will experience this kind of debates where they get to audit the presidential aspirants when they outline their policies,” Nation Media Group Chief Executive Linus Gitahi said.

All the major media houses, including Capital FM are involved in organising the debates which will see candidates face it off with one another in live broadcasts for the first time in the country’s history.

“It will be about policies and what they will do to transform this country,” Gitahi said.

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya assured that high professional standards will be employed in organising and executing the project.

“This is a very huge project, and a project of this magnitude needs us to ensure that there is an appreciable level of integrity and transparency in its execution,” he said, adding that even the candidates will be invited to give their views on how they want the process structured.

Capital FM’s Editorial Director Michael Mumo said the station will stream the debates live on www.captialfm.co.ke/news. He added that the public will be able to express their opinions, send in questions, and generally take part in the debates on Twitter and Facebook.

Kass FM’s chairman Joshua Chepkwony told the organisers to ensure Kenyans in the Diaspora are also given a chance to participate.

Kenya’s in the diaspora initiated this discussion awhile back, through the  Kenya Diaspora Advisory council USA with the leadership of Kenya Diaspora Advisory council of New England. The organisations have been working on organizing presidential debates/town-hall meetings for all of the 2012 presidential candidates. 

This will provide a forum for an independent political dialogue that will help the voters identify leaders based on issues and not tribal affiliations.

The council will organize national debates/town-hall meetings that will see the candidates tour the USA and meet with Kenyans in all the key states.

We will keep you posted on the specific dates and venue, In the UK, London Africa Media Network , Kenya London News and other diaspora bodies are working to ensure Kenyans in the UK take part in the debates, conversations are ongoing to ensure this happens either virtually or by getting all the aspirants to the UK.
As general elections approach, pragmatic allegiances along ethnic lines and tensions between communities could increase, unlike the west where there is a clear outline on what political parties stand for, Kenya’s Politics like that of many African countries is that of coalitions of convenience  and ethnicity, this will not be changed by one debate.
Its just the beginning though, one that we are keen to support as members of the  fourth estate
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Kenya’s presidential Debate
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