Uhuru’s fans forced to watch Raila for 90 minutes at presidential debate
Jubilee Party supporters were on Monday night forced watch Nasa flag bearer Raila Odinga’s 90 minutes of fame in the presidential debate aired by all leading television stations.
Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta made true his threat to skip the debate held at the Catholic University of East Africa that analysts claim was watched by 9 million people.
Uhuru had insisted over the week that he was not consulted and he instead met Samburu residents at State House while Raila was articulating his vision for Kenya under Nasa.
Uhuru went ahead to host his own live interview on Social Media on Sunday to preempt the Monday’s date with Kenyans. His live chat was viewed by 250,000 people on his Facebook page.
But most of Uhuru’s supporters seemed to seeth with anger after the Jubilee Party candidate snubbed the event even as the latest opinion polls show the race is getting too close to call. Infotrak on Sunday put Raila ahead of Uhuru at 47.42% while Kenyatta at 46.63%. Ipsos put Uhuru ahead at 47% while Raila was placed second at 43%.
Jubilee supporters anger was well captured after Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa posted on his Facebook page a message that seems to belittle the debate.
“Just arrived from Narok and heard there was a debate. An INTERVIEW ain’t a debate!.. Give ODM their one and half hours air time and let the guy go home to sleep,” Ichungwa posted on his Facebook page.
But most of his supporters were far from being amused by the post.
“He couldn’t spare 90 minutes for me, but he wants me to set aside nane nane for him,” Kirimi Njue wondered.
Jane Nduta who says is an ardent support of Uhuru said: “If Uhuru can not spare a few minutes to account for what he has done for the four years and a half why should I line up for hours to vote for him…..(i didn’t have time to attend his rallies).”
“My vote was for Uhuru but can’t say the same now. That was arrogance to the Kenyan voter,” another supporter said.
“I think on this one we are not with u. N I’m sorry if u too n the way we respect u can think like that. The president should have attended the debate. You are misadvising him and making us even in Jubilee start to reconsider our support for him. To me that was arrogance to the Kenyan people no matter how u look at it,” a supporter said.
But some Jubilee supporters were happy that Uhuru missed the debate. They claim that only voters can determine the next president and not a media debate.
“It’s not arrogance its self-confidence, he does not do things coz baba is doing, you think he has lost anything …well let me inform you he could have lost more if he had attended, the corrupted and sub standard media in Kenya cannot hold a credible debate,” a supporter said.
It is probably true that a debate may not change much in a Kenyan election scenario where voting patterns are determined tribe than any other consideration. But with at least 6% of the voters undecided, attending the debate would have helped the president’s campaign.