Capital FM (Nairobi)

10 February 2013

Kenya: Bring On the Presidential Debate, Candidates Say

The stage is set for the country's first ever presidential debate.   ( Resource: Kenya to Hold Presidential Debate

The long awaited presidential debate to take place on Monday night will help many Kenyans make proper decision on whom to vote for, in the coming general elections.

Presidential aspirant Martha Karua said most Kenyans are looking forward to understand and scrutinise various manifestos each candidate has, unlike the way they have been presented before.

Karua said the debate is a great opportunity to also ensure equal opportunity for all candidates to air their plans for Kenyans, especially those who feel they have not been getting fair media coverage.

"It is like having a rally that is countrywide. And because it has really been advertised, so many people will be listening; it's a rally like no other. The only lamentation is that one wouldn't have that much time, but I say that on a lighter note. This is an opportunity like no other. This is a great start and let's move," Karua said.

"As our politics evolve, presidential candidates will become less and less. This is a crowded race of eight but the growth of democracy will narrow the number of people vying in future," Karua noted.

Karua, who is the only female presidential candidate, has lauded the media fraternity for coming up with the idea adding that such a platform is a sign that Kenyans are tired of empty promises from politicians.

"This is a campaign and every campaign has an impact. That is why we go out there to meet people. So many Kenyans are likely to even change their stand depending on how the candidates will explain themselves," she added.

On his part,presidential aspirant James ole Kiyiapi said he is well prepared for the debate calling on all Kenyans to follow it keenly and make their choice on March 4.

"Tomorrow is the day. Millions of Kenyans are going to make up their minds. And they will say, oh my God, this is the person I will vote for. It is going to influence many voters, but in the right way," Kiyiapi said. "By the way, a majority of voters are not yet decided. Kenyans are very careful this time round."

They were both speaking after attending a Sunday service at Nairobi Pentecostal Church in Karen, Nairobi.

The debate which will involve six presidential candidates will be aired in all TV and radio stations in the country. Capital FM will stream the event on www.presidntialdebate.co.ke.

Others in the debate apart from Karua and Kiyiapi are Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta, Musalia Mudavadi and Planning Assistant Minister Peter Kenneth.

The debate will provide Kenyan voters with an opportunity to listen, interrogate and interact with the presidential candidates.

It will be first such forum ever to take place in the country and is aimed at helping the voters make informed choices by choosing leaders who have concrete issues to focus on and grow the country once in government rather than those who are just interested on personal politics.

The second presidential debate will take place on February 25.

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InFocus

Will Presidential Debate Sway Kenyans?

The stage is set for Kenya's first ever presidential debate, with Martha Karua being the only female aspirant. The debate aims to help voters make informed choices in the coming ... Read more »