Justina Wamae dominates first tier debate

Justina Wangui Wamae

Roots Party of Kenya presidential running mate Justina Wangui Wamae takes part in the 2022 deputy presidential debate  at  CUEA on July 19, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Corruption, high cost of living and unemployment dominated the first tier debate where the two deputy presidential candidates vowing to tackle the triple threat. 

Roots Party deputy presidential candidate Justina Wamae said their plan to slay the graft dragon will involve hanging the corrupt, adding in their government integrity will be key. 

She pointed out that they have already been leading by example in the war against corruption by having no sponsors for their campaigns as well as resisting campaign bribery, saying the practice only leads to bad leadership. 

"Kenyans to shun politicians who bribe them to win their votes. Campaign bribery leads to corruption as those elected seek to return their campaign funds. We are here to give alternative. No one owns any vote," said Ms Wamae. 

Her Agano Party counterpart Ruth Mutua said past governments have compromised integrity in the country but their administration will herald transparency and trust amongst Kenyans. 

"Lack of will has impeded the fight against corruption. Integrity is paramount to us as Agano party," said Ms Mucheru. 

Differing with Ms Wamae on hanging the corrupt, she said their government will instead have those implicated in graft face the law. 

"Our governance is not to hang anybody. Hanging is not even in the constitution. We shall follow the law to deal with the corrupt. Everyone will face the law," she said. 

On the high cost of living, Ms Wamae said they intend to revive the ailing economy by focusing on local economy and putting up more industries to widen the tax net.

"We shall give conducive environment for businesses. We will also reduce the cost of agricultural inputs and reduce import costs. We shall cut off the brokers who hurt farmers," she said.

For her part, Ms Mucheru said the high cost of living is caused majorly by corruption by leaders and if Kenyans can elect good leaders, then they will see their plight addressed, asking Kenyans to give them a chance."Our economy is bad because of corruption. Corruption has eaten us up in every sector," said Ms Mucheru. 

Marijuana debate also took centre stage during the debate with Ms Wamae saying they are advocating for legalisation of bhang for industrial health and also as an income earner to spur the economy. 

"Let’s look at the future. Galana Kulalu project will be about cannabis and we shall pay teachers, and civil servants with the proceeds of bhang. Unemployment and high cost of living leads to depression yet marijuana is illegal," she said. 

However, Ms Mucheru said it is not practical to legalise marijuana in Kenya, urging mothers to be cautious about Roots marijuana plans.

Nonetheless, the two were in concurrence that it is time for new hands to take over the leadership of the country as the old hands have failed. 

Ms Mucheru said Kenyans are tired and want new leadership.

"Our competitors have experience but have let us down. We want fresh blood and ideas," she said. 

Ms Wamae added that although it is humbling to be on the same ballot with Martha Karua and Rigathi Gachagua, who have been part of the governance of the country for decades, good policies and leadership responsive to the plight of Kenyans.

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