Only one candidate turned up for the presidential running mates debate on Monday evening after others declined to show up for the live event.
Muthiora Kariara, an independent running mate, had 90 minutes to himself in the event that was broadcast on major TV stations.
Six running mates had been invited to participate in the debate that was organized by Debates Media Ltd at the Catholic University of East Africa.
Kariara is Japhet Kavinga’s running mate for the August 8 general elections.
Little is known about the two, but a quick search on the internet revealed that Kariara is in the banking sector.
A LinkedIn account associated with him describes Kariara as “gifted with exceptional leadership, team building skills, strategic & organizational planning skills, and interpersonal skills”.
He lists his areas of interest as Forex trading, Equities, Corporate Finance, Private Equity.
A message posted on his Twitter handle as the debate was ongoing reads: We have leaders who are not ready to account for the nation. There has been many talk about Kenya needs action.
Kenyans who tuned in to the debate praised Kariara for having the courage to show up and for articulating himself on the various topical issues, which ranged from the economy to food security.
Using the hash tag #DebateKE, users expressed their opinions about Kariara, noting particularly his coherence and attitude.
@ekisiangani said: I am extremely impressed by the performance of this young man Muthiora Kariara. He is brave and coherent.
Kakamega Senator Bonnie Khalwale tweeted: Congratulations Mathiora Kariara for stepping forward to participate in the running mates debate.
@aritaeric said: If only we can have ten Mathioras.
@afromedianews said: Muthiora is testament of the possibility of alternative leadership in #Kenya.
In the absence of the other running mates, Muthiora had one and a half hours to himself to articulate and explain the vision of his leadership and that of his would be president would offer Kenyans.
Issues he touched on ranged from improving the economy, dealing with corruption and improving people’s living standards.
@xtiandela said: “Damn!! Wish I was..Muthiora Kariara, just imagine ALL that publicity from ALL Media Houses..Just for you!!
@doncorleon tweeted saying; “Eliud Muthiora Kariara, when God decide to lift you He lifts you as your enemies are watching. 90 minutes of fame. God bless you.
@MashRomeo said: “This Muthiora Kariara can make a very good Governor of Nairobi so that we rest Sonko and Kidero.”
Yet, @shiviske said: “Now everybody knows who Muthiora Kariara is.”
Another user @PatrickLino3 took a swipe at the running mates who absconded the debate by tweeting; “If you are too busy to participate in the debates then you have no business asking Kenyans for votes.”
@KoomeGitobu tweeted: “I was wondering why this candidate had so much time to talk… then they zoomed out. Where is everyone else??”
Using the tweeter handle @KariaraMuthiora, Muthiora thanked Kenyans for tuning in to the debate.
“Thank you Kenya for giving us the platform to present our vision for you. Vote for Change! Vote for Dr. Kaluyu and I! Thank You.”
Deputy President William Ruto said he will not attend the debate on grounds he was never consulted on the matter.
“I am surprised no one has engaged me on the debate. Courtesy demands that date, time, rules of engagement would have been made available,” he told the Star on Monday.
More on this: I will not attend running mates debate, wasn’t consulted – DP Ruto