Kenyan media houses are set to hold a debate for four Deputy Presidential candidates piting Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance's Martha Karua, United Democratic Alliance's (UDA) Rigathi Gachagua, Roots Party's Justina Wamae and Agano Party's Ruth Mutua.
Amidst political turmoil, two of the Deputy Presidential candidates, Karua and Gachagua have been the most vocal, while the others have taken a back seat in the bis to succeed Deputy President William Ruto on August 9.
Gachagua is the only male Deputy Presidential candidate, with all the contestants for the top seat in a bid to appease the female voting bloc, which is the biggest and the most active when it comes to elections.
The debate, organised by the Presidential Debates Secretariat will be conducted in two tiers.
The first tier will feature Deputy Presidential candidates whose popularity ratings, based on three recent opinion polls, stand below 5 per cent, while the second tier will involve candidates who have polled above 5 per cent in the same opinion surveys.
The first debate will run from 6:00pm and end at 7.30pm while the second one will go on air at 8:00pm and end at 9.30pm.
Karua's latest utterances
Two days before the debate, the most notable utterances by Karua entailed a call for peace during the forthcoming General Elections.
She tweeted on Sunday, July 17, 2022 saying, "Today, let us pray for peaceful elections and a united country."
Since 2007, Kenya's elections have been marred with violence, although the extend of the violence has been reduced in each subsequent election.
Gachagua latest utterances
On Monday, July 18, 2022, Gachagua visited the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), where the Deputy Presidential debate will be held, and confirmed his attendance.
On Sunday, Gachagua was in Gatundu drumming support for Deputy President William Ruto, where he talked about the proposed "Hustlers Fund", a fund that will be established to help small-scale businessmen in case Ruto wins Presidency.
"The Hustlers fund, Guaranteed Minimum Returns and ease of doing business are key parameters required for a dead economy like ours to spring back to life. This election can't be a gamble about Kenyan lives anymore. We must elect a people-centric Government led by H.E William Ruto," he wrote on his Twitter page after the tour.
Justina Wamae on her selection
Wamae has been silent in the recent past, and if she spoke her messages have not been highly publicised, owing to the "small-scale" campaigns due to few resources.
In a recent media interview, Justina revealed how she landed the running mate position in the Roots Party.
“Roots circulated an advert, they looking for a running mate. I sent in my Curriculum Vitae (CV) the same one I used to apply for the Principal Secretary position after the elections in 2017. We were called for an interview and they insisted if I’m married, I come with my spouse.
“The reason behind it was that they would have two votes from my family. The selection panel was headed by a retired judge. After the interview, I left just like the other candidates and later on I received a communication from the Roots Party indicating that I was successful,” she narrated
Justina unsuccessfully contested for the Mavoko parliamentary seat on an independent ticket losing to Wiper’s Patrick Makau.
During her unveiling, Mutua termed the Agano Party team as the perfect change for the country's top seat. She said she is there to represent women, who have been marginalised for a long time in the country's top leadership.
"We are the new team, the dream team and the new energy that is coming into office. I am coming to represent the women, the youth and those abled differently. We are the new leaders that the Kenyans have been waiting for,” Ruth said at her unveiling in June.
She said that she would focus on reducing Kenya’s gender gap index, in case she is elected into office.
“I want to create space for women, to push for gender balance and to work on issues like pay disparity between men and women. Why aren’t a female HOD and male HOD earning the same despite the woman being more educated?” Ruth said.