The first ever Presidential Debate was hosted last night and televised to millions of people worldwide. Candidates started streaming in at around 6:30 PM and the debate was ready to start at 7:30. Paul Muite and Mohammed Diba had earlier in the day obtained a court order stopping the debate unless they were included. The organizers therefore had no choice but to set up a podium for them.
The debate was divided into two sessions. The first was a topical discussion moderated by Linus Kaikai while the other session involved taking questions from the audience. Julie Gichuru moderated this session.
The first session was particularly lively because candidates put each other to task on various issues with Uhuru having to answer one on one questions concerning the ICC process. Raila told him to his face that it is not practical to run a government from the Hague, to which Uhuru had ready answers or cleverly avoided some bits. Mwalimu Diba and several other candidates wondered how Uhuru resigned as finance minister due to the ICC process, but now wants to get to a higher office. Uhuru answered them by telling them and all Kenyans to differentiate between an appointed position and an elected position. He said that he resigned from an appointed position and that Kenyans will decide whether or not to elect him.
In a debate where an eloquent Musalia Mudavadi did not receive a lot of time allocation, Peter Kenneth was judged by many to have come out too emotional despite having clear points on what he intends to do as president. Martha Karua also appealed to many by taking clear positions with little or no vague answers. Paul Muite on the other hand came out as eloquent but very radical, especially when he said he would send the Navy to safeguard Migingo, then negotiate with Uganda later.
Uhuru Kenyatta appeared to have mastered his oratory skills, with near perfect English, but at times not very clear answers.
Raila Odinga was most of the time on the receiving end, but managed to compose himself, but according to many he was one of the night’s worst performers.
Going by thousands of comments on social media, Mohammed Dida impressed most, due to the funny one liners he used to drive his point home. For instance when he was asked how old his party was, he said his ideas were quite old.
So we ask, Who do you think won the presidential debate? (Poll available only on desktop)