LIVE Blog: Uhuru skips #DebatesKE as Raila takes the stage

LIVE Blog: Uhuru skips #DebatesKE as Raila takes the stage
Nasa flag bearer Raila Odinga during the Presidential Debate at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA).

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, July 24, skipped the much-anticipated Presidential Debate 2017 organised by Debates Media Limited as Nasa Presidential candidate Raila Odinga took alone to the podium to answer a battery of questions by moderators, Linus Kaikai of Nation Media Group and Joe Ageyo (Standard Media Group).

This live blog captured some of the highlights of the debate…

On Uhuru Snub

Raila: Uhuru Kenyatta amenicheza shere

Raila: Nawaakia kila la kheri na rafiki yake

Raila: Mchezo ikuwe a kirafiki na atakayeshindwa akubali. Asiyekubali kushindwa si mshindani.

Trading Insults

Joe Ageyo: Do you approve of these words by your surrogates…for two candidates with a mathematical chance of being Kenya’s next President, is trading insults right?

Raila: Calling an MP my surrogate isn’t fair.

Raila: When I say ‘amekunywa nini’ it doesn’t mean he’s a drunk.

Raila: If they are called thieves, is someone feeling guilty?

Raila: Similarly, when Uhuru says ‘Muguruki’ he doesn’t really mean I am mad. It means things are getting hot in the kitchen.

Raila: When Ruto calls me ‘mtu ya kitendawili’, it shows there’s something itching about the ‘vitendawili.

Perceptions of Oginga-Kenyatta families

Raila: Kenyan people voluntarily elected Oginga-Kenyatta into those positions

Raila: I was involved in what is called the ‘2nd liberation’ not by invitation by my father but on my own conviction.

Raila: I have also been in detention. I have a problem with my eyesight because of the poor lighting at the time I spend during detention.

Raila: Uhuru too is not here because his father brought him to politics. He’s a Kenyan who entered the scene as Moi was exiting.

Raila: It is very unfair to say that we have held this country hostage as families.


Raila: Kenya is now playing in the Super League of corruption with giants like Nicaragua

Raila: The buck stops with the President. If you have failed, then park and go home!

Raila: Action will be taken against public servants breaking the law

Raila: Mr President needs to let institutions to work independently

Raila: He took names that were given for information purposes, sufficient evidence hadn’t been found and took them to Parliament.

Raila: He tarnished the names of very innocent Kenyans while expunging the name of Anne Waiguru who was later linked to NYS scandal.

Joe Ageyo: What would you have done?

Raila: I would have Magufulid her! (laughs).

TJRC Report

Raila: For the DP to say that the report will open old wounds shows how ignorant he is. That his solution is to just issue title deeds.

Raila: When I am elected President, and not if, it is when…

Raila: The first thing the Jubilee did when it entered into power was t water down the subsidiary legislations yet to be passed.

Raila: They removed the power over land from communities. We will ensure this is reversed to ensure communities have a final say on their land.


Joe Ageyo: From where you sit what is the problem with this country asfar as tribal voting is concerned

Raila: I don’t think there’s anything unique here, even when you go to the UK, you will find there are seats for Labour Party

Raila: Even in the United States, there are some sates that are painted red.

Raila: That Uhuru Kenyatta will get more votes in Kiambu is because it is there boy. It is homeboy mentality.

Raila: But when I go with him to Coast, North Easterrn, Western I will get more votes. People didn’t vote for me because I am a Luo.


Raila: The PM’s office was he most inclusive in terms of regional balance

Raila: The statistics are there, you can go and check.

Raila: The only person from my family who was employed by the government was my sister at the New York consulate.

Raila: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs employed her, a competent Kenyan with a PhD. It had nothing to do with me.

National Unity

Raila: I don’t regret a thing any word I said in Kajiado.

Raila: One is forced to sell the only piece of land he has in order to survive. Consequently disinheriting his children.

Raila: The issue f land should be addressed conclusively using the TJRC Report.

Raila: I meant what I said. I said ‘don’t sell”. Those with excess land can sell, nobody is telling them not to tell.

Raila: Kenyatta was just playing politics

Raila: I was addressing the Maasais. I told them we would deal with poverty so that they wouldn’t need to sell their land.

44th Kenyan tribe

Raila: We don’t need a new tribe, I saw the other day, the Indians have been named the 44th tribe in Kenya… (laughs).


Odinga: Landlords are increasing rent by the day. Land doesn’t belong to landlords, they are structure owners.

Odinga: Let them make money and let not the poor be exploited that they cannot make their bread.

Regional issues

Odinga: The Northern Corridor was just one of the corridors. To integrate the region, you need to do more, like the central corridor etc.

Odinga: Snubbing of Kenya by Uganda in the corridor project speaks volumes about current Kenyan leadership.

Odinga: My plea to the government of South Sudan is to accord the Kenyan fair trial in accordance to the international standards.


Parallel tallying centre

Linus Kaikai: Do you have a tallying centre in Tanzania.

Odinga: The law doesn’t prohibit anybody from tallying votes

Odinga: We have made it clear that we are going to tally to make sure the results are in sync.

Odinga: Why should someone worry that we have a tallying centre in Tanzania, Kenya or in the moon?

Odinga: We have a tallying centre in Kenya, Kenya and the clouds.


Military involvement

When I am talking, I am talking authority and nobody can refute it. Uhuru Kenyatta hasn’t been given any permission to deploy the military.


Comic Relief

Linus Kaikai: Mr Odinga, I know there’s too much light here, we should have explained our sitting position and also with the makeup we look alike with Joe Ageyo.

Odinga:  Thank you, Joe, …you said you look alike?



Linus Kaikai:  Do you have proof of these claims.

Odinga: These are issues that can be substantiated. We have written to the IG and the head of the military.

KDF in Somalia

Odinga: The AU had advised against sending troops in neighbouring countries for fear of retaliation. We are now seeing the consequences.

Odinga: We should strategically remove our troops from Somalia and provide support to Amisom from our border.

Odinga: It took us seven hours to send support to our troops in Garissa during the university attack and yet we see our army in parades saying how they are ready to defend us.


Maize Scandal


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Story By Eric Ndubi
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