Director of Communications at Deputy President William Ruto’s campaign Hussein Mohammed has hit out at Citizen TV for who he called biased reporting.
Hussein Mohammed attacks former employer Citizen TV
Hussein Mohammed accused Citizen TV of being a mouth piece for Raila Odinga
Mohammed, a former TV anchor at Citizen TV said that Royal Media Services outlets were being used as campaign mouth pieces for Ruto’s competitor Raila Odinga.
He also said that The Daily Nation newspaper was being used to influence the electorate against the DP.
“We wish to highlight the notorious instance of runaway abuse of public bandwidth by Royal Media Services a licensee which has converted its platforms especially Citizen TV , Inooro TV and Inooro Radio to official campaign mouthpieces of the Azimio La Umoja. The Daily Nation complements these abuses by becoming their print counterpart,” read part of the statement shared by Hussein.
“We expect the media to play their rightful role in cultivating a healthy , robust and inclusive discourse. Our democracy depends on the media to make our political environment less divisive and less toxic,” he added.
The former news anchor also communicated that DP Ruto would not participate in the planned Presidential Candidates debate scheduled for July 2022 due to the alleged biases media houses had shown against his candidate.
“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.
The presidential debate is being organised by the Media Council of Kenya, in collaboration with the Media Owners Association of Kenya, and Kenya Editors' Guild.
Clifford Machoka, Nation Media Group's Director of External Affairs and Marketing, serves as Head of the Presidential Debate Secretariat.
Machoka is assisted by Leo Mutisya, MCK Head of Research and Media Monitoring, and Editor's Guild CEO Rosalia Omungo.
2013 and 2017 Kenyan Presidential Debates
In 2013, all 8 candidates at the time participated in 2 debates which took approximately 2 hours each where they took on issues affecting the country and how they planned to address them.
In 2017, the organisers held 2 debates, one for presidential candidates and the other for their running mates.
However, both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto skipped both debates leaving their opponents at the time to debate solo.
Blogger and digital strategist Dennis Itumbi had earlier criticised the organisers of the 2022 presidential debate over what he termed as poor planning.
He accused the Media Council of scheduling dates of the planned debates without involving the candidates.
"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 in August 2021.
“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,” Itumbi protested.
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