Deputy President William Ruto has broken his silence after Azimio la Umoja Presidential candidate Raila Odinga withdrew from the upcoming presidential debate slated for July 26, 2022.
DP Ruto goes after Raila for withdrawing from the presidential debate
Si mumesikia yule mzee wa Kitendawili amekimbia, ameogopa kuenda kwa debate because he has no agenda or plan for Kenya - Ruto
Speaking during a political rally in Kapkatet, the Kenya Kwanza presidential flagbearer alleged that Odinga and his team have no agenda or plan to sell to the Kenyan people and that’s why they are running away from the debate.
“Si mumesikia yule Mzee wa Kitendawili amekimbia, ameogopa kwenda kwa debate. It is because they have no agenda, they have no plan for the Kenyan people.
“They have nothing to sell to Kenyans, na kwa hivyo wanashangaa watakuaja kuambia wakenya nini kwa debate. And I want to tell them there is only one plan in Kenya. Our competitors don’t have a plan and that is why they cannot articulate any agenda because they don’t have one," Ruto said.
In his speech, Ruto confirmed that he will attend the debate to paint a clear picture of the plan he has for the people of Kenyan if elected President.
“The people of Kenyan are demanding from us leaders to have clarity of what about Kenyan and the future of our country.
“I want to confirm to Kenyans that I will attend that Debate to tells Kenyans the plans Kenya Kwanza has for them... they know we have questions that they don’t want to come and answer and because of that, start packing your things and go home,” DP Ruto said.
Raila withdraws from Presidential Debate
On Sunday, July 24, 2022 the Spokesperson of the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat, Prof. Makau Mutua confirmed that the Azimio flagbearer will not attend the Presidential Debate.
Explaining the move, Makau noted that it would be meaningless for Odinga to take part in the debate if key issues of national concern are to be left out as per the request of Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto.
"That is why he has demanded that the debate not focus on corruption, ethics and governance. These are issues at the core of the Azimio campaign; any debate devoid of these questions will be an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans," Mutua said.
According to him, having Raila participate in the debate would amount to campaigning for his competitor, William Ruto.
"It would be a colossal mistake to reward such a person with a national debate. We will not assist his failing campaign; he can explain himself and his poor record to voters without our help.
"We plan to take part in a televised town hall at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi's Eastlands with ordinary Kenyans to offer our solutions to the challenges facing the country and common people," the statement read in part.
Presidential Debate to go on as planned
However, the Presidential debates secretariat has confirmed that the debate will go on as planned.
The secretariat promised to keep the upcoming debate as objective as possible for the benefit of the Kenyan people.
“We confirm to the public that the 2022 Presidential debate will take place on Tuesday July 26, 2022 at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) main campus in Karen, from 4:00pm to 10:00PM.
"We continue to engage all stakeholders, including the various presidential campaign teams. We are committed to make the debates as inclusive and representative as possible, for the benefit of the Kenyan people,” read part of the statement from the Presidential debates secretariat.
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