Campaign Tracker: Key events in Kenya’s elections as of July 5

Raila Odinga, William Ruto

Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga (left) and his Kenya Kwanza counterpart William Ruto.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The date for the much awaited presidential debate was announced yesterday, with Kenyans looking forward to hearing what candidates will say about what they plan to do if elected.Wiper party boss Kalonzo Musyoka assures supporters that former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko will be on the ballot for the Mombasa governor’s seat.Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja defends his capital city gubernatorial bid in court, revealing intriguing details regarding the petitioner seeking to disqualify him from the race.Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga says why he fell out with the Kenya Kwanza alliance State House hopeful, Deputy President William Ruto, while they both served in the Mwai Kibaki government!Here is what you need to know of Kenya's politics as of July 5.Presidential debate dates set for July 26The 2022 presidential debate will take place on July 26. A debate will also be held for Nairobi County governor candidates, the steering secretariat announced yesterday.The presidential debate will be preceded by the deputy presidential debate on July 19, while the Nairobi gubernatorial debate will be held on July 11 from 5pm-10pm at Catholic University for Eastern Africa.“The gubernatorial debate is in recognition of the central place held by devolution in our governance and the growing need to ensure greater accountability at the county level,” the secretariat said in a statement.“The first tier will feature gubernatorial candidates whose popularity ratings, based on three recent opinion polls, stand below 5 percent, while the second tier will involve candidates who have polled above 5 percent in the same opinion surveys. The first debate will run from 6pm and end at 7.30pm while the second debate will go on air at 8pm and end at 9.30pm.”KBC’s Serfine Achieng’ and K24’s Ayub Abdikadir will moderate the first-tier debate and KTN’s Zubeida Koome and NTV’s Mark Masai will moderate the second-tier debate.Citizen TV’s Waihiga Mwaura will mediate the two debate’s panel discussions.The rules are that the moderators shall select the questions to be put to candidates.Read: 2022 presidential debate to take place on July 26Mt Kenya Bishop criticises Prof wajackoyah's bhang legalisation plansA Mt Kenya cleric has criticised Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah over his plans to legalise the commercial cultivation of bhang.Bishop John Munge, of the Jesus Winner Ministry Church, also hit out at the government for allowing Prof Wajakoyah “to openly promote evil and immoral vices” in his campaigns, saying such “reckless” public pronouncements were likely to destroy Kenya’s moral fabric.Bishop Munge was addressing journalists at the Karatina stadium in Nyeri County where he led hundreds of believers in praying for peace during and after the August 9 General Election.“Some leaders are openly supporting some things that are clearly anti-God, encouraging the cultivation, consumption and trafficking of drugs,” he said.“They are even advocating for homosexuality and prostitution. I wonder what kind of parents brought up these kinds of people. The government is also failing Kenyans by allowing that kind of advocacy that is likely to ruin our country.”Prof Wajackoyah has rubbed religious leaders the wrong way after he announced his plans to legalise bhang if he is elected President. He has also pledged to promote snake farming.Read: Bishop hits out at Wajackoyah over plans to legalise bhangHow Kibaki saved Ruto after I suspended him over maize scandal, Raila saysThe Azimio presidential hopeful, Mr Odinga, has revealed one of the reasons for the feuding between him and DP Ruto, the Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate.The rivalry dates back to the grand coalition government, when Mr Odinga was prime minister and Dr Ruto Agriculture minister.Mr Odinga said Dr Ruto was a corrupt person who could not be trusted with public resources.This, he said, once pushed him to suspend Dr Ruto from the Cabinet before President Mwai Kibaki intervened and reinstated him.At a rally in Homa Bay town on Sunday, Mr Odinga revealed some of the triggers of their dispute, including a maize scandal.Mr Odinga said the state had decided to import maize from South Africa because of shortages of the cereal in Kenya.But Dr Ruto allegedly colluded with some of his friends, including MPs, to sell the maize to millers at high prices, more than what the government had directed.Mr Odinga said a sack was to be sold to factories for Sh1,500 per bag.He claimed Dr Ruto had a different plan and wanted to cash in. "He colluded with his friends, including some in Parliament, to sell the maize to millers at higher prices," he said.Mr Odinga reported that the maize was later sold to flour makers for Sh2,800.Read: Raila: I suspended Ruto over maize scandal but Kibaki saved himMike Sonko will be on the ballot for Mombasa governor, Kalonzo saysWiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has insisted former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko will be on the ballot as he has not exhausted all his appeal avenues.Mr Musyoka said Mombasa should prepare for an intensive campaign after a three-judge bench to be formed by Chief Justice Martha Koome to determine his case was likely to rule in his favour.Despite major legal battles, Mr Musyoka said the party would stick with Mr Sonko in the Mombasa race and that Wiper had no agreement on zoning in the major towns.“We still have interest to succeed Governor Hassan Joho and we hope the three-judge bench will give Wiper a chance to field a candidate, who will still be Mr Sonko,” said Mr Musyoka at Fairdeal Furniture boss Mohamed Zakir’s daughter's wedding in Mombasa.The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had barred Mr Sonko from vying for the seat following his impeachment in 2018. He moved to the IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee, which upheld the decision.The IEBC gave Wiper 72 hours to replace the former Nairobi governor but the party opted not to nominate another candidate and instead moved to the Court of Appeal.Last week, the court asked CJ Koome to form a three-judge bench to hear and determine Mr Sonko’s appeal.Read: Mike Sonko will be on the ballot in August, says Kalonzo MusyokaPetitioner seeking my disqualification is a hired gun - Sakaja tells courtNairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has claimed the voter seeking to disqualify him from the governor’s race is a “hired gun” keen to humiliate him publicly.In documents filed in court in response to the case lodged by the voter, Dennis Gakuu Wahome, Mr Sakaja dismissed claims that the degree he acquired from a Ugandan university is controversial, saying the questions raised were based on malice.Claiming that the petitioner is a proxy of powerful forces he did not name, Mr Sakaja questioned Mr Wahome's ability to access multiple documents, including alleged immigration records and Jubilee Party nomination applications dating to 2016."The gist of Mr Wahome’s suits challenging the validity of my academic qualifications are deliberately and primarily calculated to subject me to public humiliation, embarrassment as well as unreasonably restrict the exercise of my political and social rights," he says.Mr Wahome escalated the fight to court after the electoral commission's Dispute Resolution Committee dismissed his complaint against Mr Sakaja's clearance to contest the seat.The Nairobi senator is vying under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).Through lawyer Elias Mutuma, the senator said in a 10-page replying affidavit that the Bachelor of Science in Management he acquired from Team University, Uganda, is not bogus as alleged by the voter.Justice Anthony Mrima will hear the oral arguments today at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi.Read: Petitioner in my degree suit a hired gun, says Johnson SakajaSonko's temporary victory as court bars IEBC from gazetting Mombasa governorship candidatesMr Sonko, the former Nairobi governor, got a reprieve yesterday after a three-judge bench of the High Court issued interim orders restraining the electoral agency from publishing in the Kenya Gazette candidates for the position of Mombasa governor.The bench comprising justices Olga Sewe, Stephen Githinji and Ann Ong’injo also issued an order restraining the IEBC from printing ballot papers in respect of candidates for the governor’s position.It also restrained the Wiper party from nominating any other candidate for the position of governor.The orders were issued pending the hearing and determination of an application and a petition filed by Mr Sonko, who wants a decision by the IEBC and its Dispute Resolution Committee disqualifying him quashed.Justices Sewe, Githinji and Ong’injo also allowed an application by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) seeking to join the proceedings as an interested party.Through lawyer Philip Kagucia, the EACC said it wants to participate as a fact-finder institution and present its findings to the court for a determination on Mr Sonko’s eligibility.The case file had last week been forwarded to CJ Koome to empanel the bench to hear Mr Sonko’s petition.Read: Court bars IEBC from gazetting Mombasa governor candidates 

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