The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Karua Storms Out of Cotu TV Debate

Narc-Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua yesterday stormed out of a debate organised by Cot. A source said Karua left the debate because he was not happy with the presence of Kalonzo Musyoka.

Cord candidate Raila Odinga has sent Kalonzo, who is his running mate, to represent him. Cotu had organised the debate to gauge the candidates' commitment to address the plight of workers if they form the next government.

Others who attended the debate were Abduba Diba of Alliance for Real Change, Safina's Paul Muite and RBK's James ole Kiyiapi.

Jubilee's flag-bearer's Uhuru Kenyatta failed to show up. Before she left, Karua had complained that she was being given enough time to explain her points.

She complained when the moderator interjected while she was talking asking her to wind up since her time was up. Apparently Karua felt that she had not been given sufficient time.

"I am not sure if my time is actually over. We should be treated equally, those who spoke before me were given plenty of time to make their contributions and so I should also be treated the same," she said.

When she finished her presentation, she sat down briefly before she walked out of the room. At some point Karua interjected to have Kalonzo assume a seat at the plenary.

Kiyiapi also walked out of the room immediately Karua left. Earlier on, Karua had told the forum that if she is elected, her government will wipe out corruption.

"My government will deal with corruption head-on so that this country attains quick development. Corrupt government officials have denied more youth to be employed because they use state resources to enrich themselves," she said.

The former Gichugu MP said she will seal loopholes in the procurement laws. Kiyiapi said he will focus on the implementation of the constitution and encourage investment to create more jobs.

"The constitution that we have now addresses some of the issues that have been a set back to the development of this country. We only need leaders that are committed to this country," he said.

Alliance for Real Change presidential candidate Diba said that poor wage system and unemployment are stagnating the development of the country. Kalonzo said cord government will focus on creating more jobs to provide employment opportunities to the youth.

Meanwhile, cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli has claimed that cartels in the oil and sugar industry are funding some of the politicians.

"I can now tell you that some of the politicians running for various seats in the coming general elections are funded by cartels in the oil and sugar industry," he said.

He said that cotu will not have any proffered candidate in the elections. "Workers will have the freedom to elect their choice of leaders they want without intimidation from cotu," he said.

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