August 9

Ruto confirms he will attend presidential debate, tears into Raila

Sunday, July 24th, 2022 21:20 | By
Ruto confirms he will attend presidential debate
Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate William Ruto campaigns in Kericho on Sunday, July 24, 2022. PHOTO/William Ruto(WilliamsRuto)/Twitter

Deputy President William Ruto has confirmed that he will attend the presidential debate slated for Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Speaking at a rally in Kisii, the Kenya Kwanza presidential flag bearer said the debate offers the coalition a platform to detail its agenda to the common man.

Ruto slams Raila

He tore into Azimio One Kenya coalition candidate Raila Odinga for pulling out of the race, saying the ODM party leader chickened out of the debate because he doesn't have an agenda for Kenyans.

"He (Raila Odinga) has feared going for the debate because they have no plan and agenda. They have no policies to sell, which is why they are wondering what they will come to do in the debate. They cannot articulate any agenda because they have none," Ruto told Kisii residents.

That man is full of rhetoric and lacks clarity on what he wants for Kenyans. He cannot come to the debate because he has no plan. He doesn't know what to say. I want to assure Kenyans that I will attend that debate very early because I want to explain the Kenya Kwanza Alliance plan to Kenyans."

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader dismissed Raila's tough talk on fighting corruption, insisting that the Azimio team has no plans to slay the graft dragon since most of the members are beneficiaries of the vice.

"Their campaign finances are from Covid billionaires and that is why Raila cannot face me because he knows I will ask difficult questions about corruption, state capture and conflict of interest," Ruto added.

Ruto spoke hours after Raila said he will skip the debate.

In a statement released by the Spokesperson of his Presidential Campaign Secretariat, Prof Makau Mutua, on Sunday, Raila said that a traditional debate structure with opposing candidates is a bad idea this year.

The former prime minister and his running mate Martha Karua will instead attend a town hall meeting at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi's Eastlands to avert what they termed an anticipated 'empty self-serving political theatre.'

"Instead of a traditional debate, we plan to take part in a televised town hall at Jericho social hall in Nairobi Eastlands with ordinary Kenyans to offer our solutions to challenges facing the country and common people," the statement read.

Azimio's team argued that the decision was occasioned by the nature of Ruto and his demands.

Azimio insists on having a debate around corruption, integrity, ethics, and governance, pillars the coalition said Ruto is not keen on.

"It would be a colossal mistake to reward such a person with a national debate. We will not help his failing campaign," Raila added.

More on August 9