Days after threatening to boycott the Presidential Debate slated for Tuesday, July 26, Azimio la Umoja coalition has revealed that their presidential candidate Raila Odinga will not be attending the said debate.
Through a statement released on Sunday, July 24, Raila Odinga's Presidential Secretariat Spokesperson Professor Makau Mutua said their candidate would not attend the debate on Tuesday.
According to Azimio, it 'would be a colossal mistake' for Raila to share a podium with William Ruto, whom they described as a person who lacks integrity.
"Unfortunately, a traditional debate structure with opposing candidates joined together on stage is a bad idea this year. Our competitor has proven over the course of his career that he will do and say anything in his ungovernable greed for power. Today as his campaign fails and supporters abandon him, he has become desperate," read the statement
Mutua described Ruto as a man who allegedly does not have regard for ethics public morals or sham, claiming he had demanded that the debate should not focus on ethics, corruption, integrity, and governance.
Azimio said they would boycott the debate if all these issues will not be at the center of the debate and that Raila will not share a podium with William Ruto ( a person who lacks basic decency)
Mutua claimed Ruto's campaigns have been backfiring on him and want to use the debate and their candidate Raila Odinga during the debate to score political points and campaign for himself.
"These issues seats at the core of Azimio's campaign and any debate devoid of these questions would be an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans. That is why we do not intend to share a national podium with a person who lacks basic decency. It would be a colossal mistake to reward such a person with a national debate. We will not help his failing campaign, he can explain himself and his poor records to voters without our help" added the statement.
Instead, Azimio said they will take part in a televised town hall at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi's Eastlands with ordinary Kenyans to offer their solutions to the challenges facing the country and Kenyans.
The coalition said its candidate Raila Odinga and Martha Karua will be taking questions directly from Kenyans and answering them.
"In lieu of a traditional debate, we plan to take part in a televised town hall at Jericho Social Hall in Nairobi's Eastlands with ordinary Kenyans to offer our solutions to the challenges facing the country and Kenyans. Raila Odinga and Martha Karua will answer questions put to them by the people of Kenya openly, honest and free from what would otherwise be nothing more than empty self-serving political theatre," added Azimio