Itumbi: Only Uhuru and Raila are qualified for presidential debates
State House Director of Digital Communication Dennis Itumbi has said the presidential debates slated for July should only feature the two leading candidates and not all the aspirants.
Mr Itumbi was reacting to an announcement on Tuesday by the chairman of the organising committee for the presidential debates, Mr Wachira Waruru, that media houses in Kenya will host three presidential debates one month to the August General Election.
The first debate will be held on July 10. A debate for running mates will follow on July 17 while the third and final presidential debate will be held on July 24.
All the debates will be held at Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi at 7.30pm and will be aired by all participating media houses on television and radio stations.
In total there are 18 candidates who have expressed interest in running for president during the August 8 General Elections.
However, Mr Itumbi was categorical in his views, saying that the race is between the two main candidates – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga – and that the other 16 candidates who have emerged as independent candidates have no place.
RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT
“The fact that we did not have a party primary’s debate should not make us to now have 18 individuals on the podium. It will even be cumbersome for the moderators to handle the event,” Itumbi told Nairobi News on phone.
“Let’s say, for example, if each is given five minutes to introduce themselves they will eat up the hours allocated for the show. We all know whom we want to see go head to head in discussing their manifestos for the future of the country,” he further clarified.
Itumbi is also of the views that a joint poll should have been held involving the organizers, and the representatives of the candidates to help choose whom they prefer to see on the debate.
Itumbi, who shared his thoughts on his Instagram page, got the support of some of his followers.