Deputy President Dr. William Ruto has threatened to keep off the planned presidential debate due to media bias against his Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
Dr. Ruto’s director of communications Mr. Hussein Mohammed cited unequal allocation of coverage, compounded by biased framing and negative profiling of Kenya Kwanza Alliance campaign and politicians allied to it.
“We expect the media to play their rightful role in cultivating a healthy, robust and inclusive discourse. Our democracy depends on the media to make our political environment less divisive and less toxic” Hussein stated.
But mainstream media has displayed and created a partisan environment where Azimio La Umoja campaigns and news items are given more airtime and positive coverage compared to Kenya Kwanza.
“Under the current partisan media environment, we have advised our candidate against participating in the presidential debates” he added.
The move to boycott presidential debate may not be considered good for democracy and accountability but such decisions must be blamed on the mainstream media and the kind of environment they have created in the run up to the August polls.
In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Party pulled out of presidential debate against Raila Odinga putting a damper on the event which had highly been anticipated because his team did not trust its organizers.
The absence of Kenya Kwanza’s presidential flag bearer from the 2022 presidential debate will also make the event a damp squib, meaningless and with less attraction to the voters and public at large.
But going by the current trends where the mainstream media is pro Azimio and its associates, the debate which is organized and planned by the media must have an ulterior motive to favor the Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
The ODM chief who claims to be the father of democracy is now sitting pretty as democracy is being mutilated to favor his tired candidature.
Odinga has lost presidency five times but he is going into the 2022 presidential contest as a ‘State project’ without a relevant campaign message but to win through a skewed process.
Dr. Ruto on the other hand has focused his campaigns on fixing the debt ridden economy through the introduction of the bottom up economic model to replace the current trickle-down model.
The blueprint of bottom up model is targeting to promote investments of ordinary Kenyans and empowering them financially for the country to expand its tax base and spur economic growth.
Ruto withdrawing from the debate will not be out of fear; the Kenya Kwanza candidate is brave, well spoken and articulate. He is also an inspiration to the young generation that one can rise from the bottom to the country’s top leadership.
He has everything to go toe to toe with stammering Odinga who is still touting an old script of overhauling the constitution to create more positions for dynasts and their cronies.
Ruto’s boycott can not be mistaken for the little regard some politicians have for the media but little regard that mainstream media deserves for stooping too low to please the current regime.