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CS Mucheru presidential debate picks rejected

The Editors Guild said the move by CS Mucheru interfered with media independence

A file image of the 2013 Presidential Debate

The Kenya Editors Guild has opposed the team formed by Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru to take charge of debates involving political hopefuls.

Led by President Churchill Otieno, the Guild has described the appointment as a way to try and control the media adding that the CS did not have the powers to dictate how the media will cover the elections.

The group appointed by CS Mucheru is led Sammy Muraya with radio journalist Vincent Ateya, news anchor Mark Maasai, and Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Phyllis Wakiaga.

“The Gazette Notice can only be viewed as illegal and undemocratic and is tantamount to interference with the media coverage of the electoral process,” Otieno said.

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Otieno said they had written to the CS to reverse the decision and let media stakeholders take charge.

“We have written to the CS seeking that he rescinds this decision in the interest of media freedom and let stakeholders in the co-regulatory framework to apply collegiality, acceptability and cooperation in a process that is a vital component in our democratic process,” Otieno stated.

Otieno added the move by the CS violated the constitution which contravened the independence of the media.

This explicitly violates Article 34(2). The Gazette notice is silent on what law the CS is using to set up the team,” he added

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In March, the Media Council of Kenya, in collaboration with the Media Owners Association of Kenya, and Kenya Editors' Guild, announced that the 2022 Presidential and Deputy Presidential Debates were in the works.

Clifford Machoka, Nation Media Group's Director of External Affairs and Marketing, was appointed to serve as Head of the Presidential Debate Secretariat.

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