As 2022 general elections draws nearer, the Kenya Editors Guild, the organizers of the presidential debate, have finally set aside July 12 and July 26, 2022, as the dates for debates ahead of the August 9 general election.
According to the guild, in between the two set dates for the Presidential candidates, there will be the running mates who will eventually become Deputies upon winning also interviewed.
“Given that the nomination for presidential candidates ends on June 10, 2022, we have set the first presidential debate for July 12, 2022, and the second one on July 26, 2022,” KEG President Churchill Otieno stated.
So far those who have announced their intention to vie for the presidency include Deputy President William Ruto, businessman Jimi Wanjigi, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and former UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga is yet to make public his his intentions to contest for the coveted seat come next general election.
Following the new development, Deputy President William Ruto’s camp are already jittery, criticizing the move to hold the debates on June 10 and July 26, citing lack of consultations.
Led by former statehouse digital strategist Dennis Itumbi who took online noting that the media should never force their comfortable dates on the aspirants and parties without consultation.
“Media should understand presidential candidates do not work on their calendars. This thing of announcing presidential debates without consulting parties or candidates is outright arrogance.
Consultations must happen before such announcements. You cannot just announce dates,” blogger Dennis Itumbi protested.
This comes just years after President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017 refused to attend a presidential debate against ODM leader Raila Odinga for lack of proper consultation.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta will not participate in the presidential debates,” David Murathe, Vice Chairman of the ruling Jubilee Party, said at the time, citing insufficient consultation and format issues.
It also comes at a time when the Kenyan poll body IEBC gave a state of their preparedness concerning the 2022 polls.
“For purposes of the 2022 General Election, the commission prepared a budget and requires Sh 40.329 billion to carry out all the activities in the Election Operation Plan.
“A further estimated Sh588 million is required for purposes of procuring items to be used in the COVID-19 prevention protocols including thermometer guns, sanitizers, soap and washing points. This brings the total General Election requirement to 40.917 billion,” he said.