2022 Presidential Debate team responds to Ruto's withdrawal from event

The team has been involving candidates, including the WSR Presidential Campaign to map their expectations.

Deputy President William Ruto

The organisers of the 2022 presidential debate led by Nation Media Group’s Clifford Machoka have responded to Deputy President William Ruto's withdrawal

In a statement, Machoka said that despite Ruto’s withdrawal, the presidential and deputy presidential debates would go on as planned.

The 2022 Kenya presidential debates will proceed in July 2022 and we will shortly announce the details on how Kenyans can participate,” he stated.

The event is jointly organised by the Media Owners Association, the Media Council of Kenya and the Kenya Editors ' Guild.

Debates for presidential candidates have become a tradition of Kenya's democracy and regularity in our electoral cycles. The guidelines governing the debates were developed in 2017, tested and validated through various processes,” Machoka added.

He noted that debates play a significant role in the way Kenyans elect leaders.

During these debates, the public gets to listen to the candidates and gauge what their priorities could be once they assume office.

Head of Presidential Debates Secretariat also added that planning for the 2022 debates has been underway since 2021 and is currently at very advanced stages.

The team has involved various stakeholders and candidates, including the WSR Presidential Campaign to map their expectations.

In these consultations, we will continue to ensure the debates are as inclusive and representative as possible. Indeed, for us to take our country forward, it behooves us to work together rather than threaten processes that are important to the country,” the statement read.

On Thursday, Director of Communications at Deputy President William Ruto’s campaign Hussein Mohammed said that Ruto would not participate in the debates over what he termed as biased reporting from Royal Media Services and Nation Media Group.

We have noted with much concern the repeated and continued bias and propaganda in a section of Kenya's mainstream media in abuse of statutory terms of license and violations of constitutional freedoms.

We note the unequal allocation of coverage, compounded by biased framing and negative profiling of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance campaign and personalities affiliated to it,” Hussein’s statement also read.

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