The much hyped Kenyan presidential debate was postponed from the initial date of 10th July 2017 to 24th July 2017.
The organizers of the event had termed the debate as one of its own kind, one where the political titans were going to face each other on a single podium on a single night.
The unexpected happened. President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that he had withdrawn from the presidential debate. His office said that there was no official communication from the organizing media house to the President. As if that was not enough, Raila Odinga, the National Super Alliance (NASA) flag bearer, announced his withdrawal from the same debate. The woes facing the debate were not over yet, another presidential aspirant, Muhammed Abdouba Dida moved to court to stop the debate.
The debate was to involve eight presidential candidates. Two major ones, or the two major horses, politically speaking had withdrawn from the debates. Though many people don’t want to accept, the forthcoming general elections are between two political divides; NASA and Jubilee and the fact that the two factions had pulled out, the debate had lost meaning.
The question we need to ask ourselves, however, is do Kenyans give a damn about the debates? Do Kenyans care about what the presidential candidates were going to discuss? Do politicians mean whatever they say? Are the debates just rhetoric meant to bring some humor and some new vocabularies into the political dictionary?
Nearly 95 percent of Kenyans vote according to their tribes and political parties. They don’t care about policies, manifestos or what their tribal kingpin says. Only 5 percent will stop to look at policies, manifestos and past records of their political leaders.
As things stand, 90 percent of Kenyan voters have already made up their mind of who they are going to vote for come 8th of August 2017. The majority are going to vote political parties, others their tribes and very few, policies and some will not vote at all.
We may be making noise that Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga must come to the presidential debate but do their followers give a damn about their debates?