Deputy President William Ruto will boycott the forthcoming 2022 Presidential Debate, his party UDA announced.
In a statement Thursday, Director of Communications in Ruto’s Campaign, Hussein Mohammed, cited media bias for Ruto’s withdrawal from the debate.
“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,” Hussein wrote.
The former Citizen TV news anchor faulted among other media houses, his former employer Royal Media Services, for bias against Ruto.
“We wish to highlight the notorious instance of runaway abuse of public bandwidth by Royal Media Services a licensee which has converted its platforms, especially Citizen TV, Inooro TV and Inooro Radio to official campaign mouthpieces of the Azimio La Umoja. The Daily Nation complements these abuses by becoming their print counterpart,” Hussein noted.
According to the former journalist, the aforementioned media houses had breached the statutory terms of their licences as well as constitutional freedoms through the unequal allocation of coverage, and negative framing of the Ruto and his associates.
“Under the current partisan media environment, we have advised our candidate against participating in the presidential debate.”
The Presidential and Deputy Presidential debates are expected to take place next month. Specific dates, venue and logistics will be announced at a later date.