By Sandra Birungi
The second Kenya presidential debates took place Brookhouse International School, Nairobi and were moderated by Kenya Television Network’s (KTN), Mr Joe Ageyo and the Citizen TV’s, Ms Uduak Amimo.
Uhuru Kenyatta, who had first pulled out of the debate came under fire for the amount of land he owns. “You cannot allow a hyena to protect your goats,” presidential candidate, Raila Odinga said to which Kenyatta responded saying, “I have never been accused of grabbing any land. The land we own as a family is acquired through willing-buyer-willing-seller. We shall ensure that land is used as a factor of production… The National Land Commission should be left to handle the emotive issue of land in this country.”
All the eight presidential candidates participated in the debate of them also include Amani coalition presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi, James ole Kiyiapi of Restore and Build Kenya (RBK) and Mohammed Abdiba Dida of (ARC), Paul Muite (Safina), Martha Karua (Narc Kenya) and Peter Kenneth Kenya National Congress (KNC).
Monday’s debate discussed the economy, resources, resource management and foreign policy.
Although the debates saw all eight candidates participate, it was Odinga and Kenyatta who seemed like they mattered the most. During the first Kenyan presidential candidates, Odinga managed to sore above Kenyatta according to polls. However, this time round, it is not clear who came out as the winner.
The biggest issue in the upcoming Kenya elections is tribal violence which claimed the lives of over 1000 people in 2007. A call is made to ensure that this year’s elections do not claim more lives and displace more people.
Despite the fact that the debates did not manage to cover the topics as expected, it is cudos to Kenya for holding their first presidential debates which have shown an advancement in the country’s politics and judicial system.