Uhuru confirms he will attend presidential debate


NAIROBI, Feb 25 – Officials in Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta’s campaign team have confirmed he will be participating in Monday night’s presidential debate.


High ranking officials in the team told Capital News that Kenyatta was ready to face-off with his rivals in the live debate scheduled to start at 7pm.

Uhuru’s team had initially complained to the debate organizers of ‘unfair treatment’ of their candidate by overemphasising on the thorny ICC case during the first debate held on Feburary11.

The Jubilee campaign team wrote a letter to the secretariat organizing the debates, claiming that the moderators focused too much attention on Kenyatta and his issues at the Hague.

The official who spoke to Capital News said all the issues had now been resolved and they were ready to participate in the debate.

Another source said Kenyatta is not going to any campaigns on Monday to enable him ample time to prepare for the second and last debate which will be televised live on all the 8 TV stations and 32 radio stations.

Officials in the CORD team have also confirmed that Prime Minister Raila Odinga was on Monday preparing for the debate, as well as other presidential candidates who have confirmed participation.

All 8 Presidential candidates are expected at the debate to be held at the Brook House School auditorium. The focus of the debate will be on land issues, economy and foreign policy.

The debate which will be moderated by Citizen TV’s Uduak Amimo and KTN’s Joe Ageyo will give voters a chance to get more insights on the candidates agenda for the country, ahead of next Monday’s General Election.

An opinion poll conducted by Ipsos Synovate at the weekend showed that ninety three percent of registered voters felt the presidential debates were beneficial to Kenyans. Out of the entire 5,971 voters polled, 85 percent said they would listen or watch the final debate ,while 3 percent said no and 11 percent reported that they were unsure.

According to an earlier phone survey conducted by the research firm after the first presidential debate, 40 percent of Kenyans who watched the first debate said they would vote for Jubilee Alliance’s Uhuru Kenyatta, while 33 percent said they would vote for CORD’s Raila Odinga.

Seven percent of the respondents said they would vote for Peter Kenneth of the Eagle Alliance, four percent for Amani’s Musalia Mudavadi, and two percent for Martha Karua, while seven percent of the respondents were still undecided and six percent did not respond to the survey.

On debate performance, 37 percent of the respondents thought Uhuru won the debate while 23 percent thought Odinga performed best.

Ipsos Synovate Senior Researcher Tom Wolf however cautioned that the survey was not scientific as it was only conducted among those who watched the debate and should therefore not be used to make a conclusion on the candidate who is leading nationally.


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