Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga has maintained that his competitor in the August polls, DP William Ruto is an unworthy competitor with whom he cannot afford to share a podium with in the Presidential debate.
Raila told residents of Meru County during a rally Tuesday that Ruto’s “tainted character” was the reason why he opted to boycott the debate.
“Let us meet at the ballot,” Odinga said giving the strongest indication yet that he is uninterested to engage Ruto in the debate.
Whereas Odinga will be a no-show, Ruto has confirmed his attendance and participation in the debate.
“I will be ready to tell Kenyans our agenda because we have it,” Ruto said.
On Tuesday, ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna bashed political opponents who claimed Raila’s decision to miss the presidential debate was connected to his age.
The move comes after speculation going around on social media that Raila made the decision not to attend the scheduled debate because of his age.
“It is quite unfortunate that our political opponent’s supporters, people younger than Raila, mocking his decision about the debate based on his age or inability to stand. All of us have to grow old,” Sifuna said on Tuesday.
“This has nothing to do with Raila Odinga’s fitness. He goes to gym everyday. The issue is are we going to extract any value from this debate?” he posed.
On July 24 ,2022 Azimio la Umoja spokesperson Makau Mutua hinted that Raila might not attend the presidential debate.
The coalition also noted that having Ruto and Raila on the same platform this year would be a bad idea.
Mutua claimed Ruto had issued his reservations telling the moderators not to focus on corruption and integrity- issues which Azimio wanted to take centre stage.
In boycotting the debate, Odinga revealed that he will instead hold a televised town hall session in Jericho, Nairobi.
An official in Odinga campaign secretariat confirmed to Capital News on Monday that the meeting will take place on Thursday.