12 February 2013

Kenya: Presidential Candidates Face-Off in Historic Debate

Presidential candidates; Peter Kenneth (Eagle), Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani), Martha Karua (Narc Kenya), Prof James ole ... ( Resource: Kenya's First Ever Presidential Debate )

Kenyans witnessed the first ever presidential debate in the county's history, eight presidential candidates cleared by the Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission faced off for four hours at the Brookhouse International School.

Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Martha Karua, Peter Kenneth, James ole Kiyiapi and Musalia Mudavadi, were joined by Paul Muite and Mohammed Abuda Dida after the former filed a successful petition at the High Court to be included in the debate.

The debate was moderated by NTVs Linus Kaikai and Citizen TVs Julie Gichuru, the candidates debated on a varied of topics including governance, education, health care, security and corruption.

However, the issue that got a lot of online debate was about the crimes against humanity charges that Uhuru Kenyatta, one of the leading candidates is facing at the ICC . The Jubilee presidential candidate was put to task about to reveal his plan of how he would govern the country if he was elected as president.

Uhuru said that he was seeking an elective position and not an appointive position, he argued that Kenyans are aware of the charges he faced and they have a right to choose their leaders. He said that the possibility of the cases being heard in Arusha, Tanzania would reduce the burden of travel that he might face as president.

His opponents were divided on the issue, KNC presidential candidate Peter Kenneth said he wants to beat Uhuru in a fair contest in the ballot, and therefore supported Uhuru's bid to vie for the presidency, Martha Karua said Uhuru's candidature was expression of impunity, Kiyiapi, Dida and Mudavadi warned of implications of Uhuru's presidency to the country.

Raila Odinga welcomed Uhuru's competition but cast doubt about his ability to manage the country's affairs via 'Skype.'The next presidential debate is set to be held on the 25th of February.

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