The Kenya Editors Guild, the convener of the presidential debate, has set aside July 12 and July 26, 2022, ahead of the August 9 general election
“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.
As negotiations and political formations shape up, it is possible that out of the many presidential aspirants, only a few will be left to square it out at the debate and on the voting day.
Deputy President William Ruto’s camp has already criticised the move to hold the debates on June 10 and July 26, citing lack of consultations.
“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.
In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta refused to attend the presidential debate to face off against Odinga.
“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.
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.
Though former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has yet to formally announced his candidacy, many Kenyans expect him to take on DP Ruto.