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Highlights of Kenya’s first presidential debate 2017

The first round of 2017 Presidential Debate has gone down at Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Karen, Nairobi.

Three out of six candidates turned up for the event organised by Debates Media Limited— Dr Ekuru Aukot of Third Way Alliance and independents Michael Wainaina and Japhet Kavinga Kaluyu.

MISSING

Those who gave the event a wide berth are Mohammed Abduba Dida (Alliance for Real Change), Cyrus Jirongo (United Democratic Party) and Joseph Nyagah (independent).

Dr Aukot, Prof Wainaina and Dr Kavinga seized the media moment to outline their visions and plans to manage the country in case they win the August 8 General Election.

They addressed themselves on several issues of concern— including corruption, education, national unity and environmental conservation.

Here are the highlights of the debate:

CORRUPTION

Dr Aukot

He said Kenya loses over Sh700 billion every year to thieves and called on voters to uproot rank corruption by giving both Jubilee and Nasa the red card.

“Corruption should be called theft of public resources,” he said

He said the vice had thrived because of lack of political goodwill, and what he said was an inability by the leadership to nip it in the bud.

“This is a factor of leadership. We will establish a hall of shame, we will take public officials to see how jails are bad, and then jail them when they are corrupt. We call it theft of funds, not corruption,” he said.

Prof Wainaina

He said the missing ingredient in the war against corruption is lack of political goodwill and pledged to provide it if he wins.

“I am uncompromised, I am not part of the (corruption) cartel,” he said.

Dr Kavinga

He said he has not been part of the “system” and that he is the right candidate to slay the dragon of corruption.

“I believe I’m the right candidate who can come in without any political baggage,” he said, adding that “people found engaging in corruption will have to serve time.”

He linked corruption to campaign funding, that he said later hit back at the presidential candidates when they get to office.

EDUCATION

Dr Aukot

He pledged to scrap fees up to university level and vowed to standardise all learning institutions in the country.

Public servants, he said, will have to take their children to public schools like ordinary Kenyans to force the government can improve the quality of education offered there.

Prof Wainaina

He pledged to address challenges facing public schools, including poor teacher-to-student ration and poor infrastructure.

He defended his education proposals that were said to be at odds with his idea of availing quality education to all, since he owns a private school.

“What I am doing here is to scale up the lessons at my school to other Kenyan schools, especially public schools,” he said.

Dr Kavinga

He vowed to take the reforms initiated by Jubilee government to the next level.

“In education… I’ll a Matiang’i on steroids.”

He also pledged to build community resource centres (CRC) and ensure university students take their internship at the CRCs.

“Students will choose what they want to study,” he said.

TRIBALISM

Dr Aukot

He said within the first 100 days of his office, he would ensure regional and ethnic diversity of Kenya as per the Constitution.

“Tribalism is stupidity. I will end it by invoking the Constitution to ensure that we have all communities involved. What Kenya needs is a father figure that looks at all tribes as his children,” he said.

Prof Wainaina

He said his first priority would be getting rid of the kingpins in Nasa and Jubilee, who employ tribalism in the way they run things.

After that, he said, one would need to “invest and inspire in the young people.”

Dr Kavinga

He said he would end tribalism by being a “good leader” who he said will consult with people from all walks of life to consult on the solution for the problem.

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation on July 8, 2017 at State House, Nairobi. He is the Jubilee Party flag bearer and Deputy President William Ruto is his running mate. PHOTO | PSCU

The second phase of the 2017 Presidential Debate has kicked off at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Karen, Nairobi.

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