Kenya: 2022 Presidential debate set for July

Kenya 2013 Presidential debate. [Image: Courtesy]
Media Owners Association, Media Council of Kenya and Kenya Editors Guild have jointly announced that the Kenya Presidential Debates 2022, will be held in July ahead of the August polls.

During a news conference at a hotel in Nairobi, the institutions stated that particular date, location, and logistics will be disclosed at a later date “in consultation with Political parties ahead of August 9, 2022.”

“A team of senior editors from across media houses has been established to provide stewardship of the content aspects given how critical the debates are to ensure the public interest obligations are served,” a joint statement by the three media entities reads.

During the debate, a live audience from all elements of society will be present, and the public will be able to submit questions.

“What we launch today is a journey that will see the various arms of the media industry play their rightful role during this electoral process. The debates play a significant role in the way we choose our leaders. During these debates, the public gets to listen to the candidates and gauge what their priorities could be once they assume office, “the joint statement reads.

Clifford Machoka was designated head of the presidential debates secretariat during the press conference. Machoka is the current head of Nation Media Group’s External Affairs and Marketing department. He will be aided by MCK’s Leo Mutisya and the Kenya Editors Guild’s CEO Roselia Omungo.

The committee told the public and stakeholders that they will provide Kenyans with high-quality issue-based presidential and vice-presidential debates to help them make informed decisions and participate effectively in this year’s election.

According to the media partners, the debate will “catalyse issue-based elections; provide an opportunity for candidates to debate, interact and engage; and enable 2 Kenyans to make informed decisions. Such efforts call for collective action by media stakeholders, given the centrality of the media in shaping public opinion.”

The Kenyan media has worked since 2013 to establish Presidential Debates as one of the cornerstone foundations of Kenya’s democracy and election process.

In 2013, all eight contenders met for two 2-hour debates to discuss Kenya’s future with one other and Kenyans

During the same time period in 2017, the media held two presidential debates and one vice presidential debate.