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Deputy President William Ruto to boycott Presidential Debates

Deputy President William Ruto who is the Kenya Kwanza has accused Kenyan media houses of bias against his team and said he will not attend the Presidential debates scheduled to take place in July just before the August 9th general elections.

In a statement signed by Hussein Mohamed who is the Deputy President’s campaign Director, the Kenya Kwanza team has accused the media of unfair media coverage and picked out the Royal Media Service and the Daily Nation for favoring the Azimio La Umoja Coalition in their coverage. As a result, they say consider the impending debate as a platform already geared to put presidential aspirants down to the advantage of others. 

Ruto has accused a section of the media of continuously peddling in violation of laid down statutory terms of license further violating constitutional freedom. “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.” Says Ruto through Hussein.

They have called on the media to adhere to the Media Council Act (2013) and apportion equal coverage to all and be fair and accurate in their coverage.  This year, the media houses created the presidential debate secretariat headed by Mr. Clifford Machoka and assisted by the Kenya Editors Guild CEO Rosalia Omungo and Leo Mutisya. 

The debates launched in the run-up to the 2013 presidential elections saw the participation of all candidates.  However, President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to show up in the debate leading to the 2017 elections.

Related story : Ruto says shocking number of his voters deleted from IEBC register

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