LIVE BLOG: Running Mates Debate Kicks Off at CUEA

Kenyan running mates Martha Karua, Rigathi Gachagua, Justina Wamae and Ruth Mucheru
Kenyan running mates Martha Karua, Rigathi Gachagua, Justina Wamae and Ruth Mucheru.

The Presidential Debates Secretariat organised the running mates debate kicked off on Tuesday, July 19, at the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA).

The event had two sessions and brought together the four running mates who include Ruth Mucheru Mutua (Agano Party), Justina Wamae (Roots Party), Rigathi Gachagua (UDA) and Martha Karua (Azimio la Umoja). 

The debates are organised by the Presidential Debates Committee which brings together stakeholders such as the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and local media houses which include will keep you update on a minute-by-minute basis. Keep refreshing this page for updates.

09:50 pm: The debate between Rigathi Gachagua and Martha Karua comes to an end with a handshake between the two running mates.

09:46 pm: When asked on how they will replenish the fuel kitty that has been depleted, Gachagua explained that Kenya Kwanza is looking to expand the tax base while Martha Karua noted that Azimio will cut out non-priority spending.

Rigathi Gachagua: We are going to expand our tax base. Once we put the hustlers fund of Ksh50 billion and we give it to the people at the bottom of the pyramid, we enlarge the tax base and we will have more revenue.

Martha Karua: We will ensure that there is fiscal discipline so that non-priority spending is dropped. We will also fight corruption.

09:38 pm: Karua noted that Azimio la Umoja will prioritise the fight against corruption.

"I know that the prices of essential commodities has gone up and the fuel prices are generally the trigger coupled with corruption. For us, the first, second and third agenda is to fight corruption. Governments have subsidies to cushion farmers because of several factors. A majority of the money for subsidy is going to the cartels, that is where the problem is."

09:35 pm: Gachagua noted that Kenya Kwanza will endeavor to lower fertiliser prices to boost agricultural production.

"On our first month in office, we intend to bring down the cost of our fertiliser from Ksh6,700 to Ksh2,500 and that will enhance our farmers to produce more."

09:05 pm: Gachagua refuted that he is worth billions noting that he has amassed around Ksh200 million.

"I have Ksh200 million. I worked for Ksh64 million in the Ministry of Lands, Ksh10 million (Kenya Power), Ksh33 million (Ministry of Livestock), Ksh46 million (Patek) among others."

09:00 pm: Martha Karua estimated her net worth at about Ksh150 million explaining that it had appreciated from the Ksh56 million she had in 2013 due to inflation.

"I haven't had any new properties. I am not thirsty for land or worldly goods. I am happy to have a house I call home. I am happy to have a house in my father's land. Not everybody is hungry to amass."

08:55 pm: Rigathi Gachagua noted that he made most of his fortune during President Mwai Kibaki regime.

"I am victim of blackmail by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Uhuru wanted me to abandon William Rut and join him but I said no because he did not give me a good reason. One problem started after another. They arrested me on trumped up charges for one and a half years. I am a victim of blackmail.

"The money that I have is well documented. I am an astute businessman. This is money that I made during the reign of Mwai Kibaki when the economy was thriving. I made over Ksh200 million and invested in an account and it has been running for eight years."

08:45 pm: Martha Karua explains President Uhuru Kenyatta's role in Azimio as well as the resultant government.

"Uhuru Kenyatta is the chairman of the council but my captain is the overall chairman of Azimio. Jubilee is just one of the 26 political parties. I sit in the council and Kenyatta does not make decisions alone

"His party will have a role and if he does not give his position to any other member of  the party, it will be a peripheral role."

08:40 pm: Rigathi Gachagua claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta's government grinded to halt for not allocating Deputy President William Ruto duties.

"He made the bed and he must lie on it. If you decide to chase your deputy away and replace him with your friends and then the government comes to a halt, you cannot go ahead crying that you have nobody to help you."

08:30 pm: Martha Karua defended her service record during Mwai Kibaki's regime where she served for six and a half years. "I never publicly belittled the government or the President that I served. I just said my hands are tied and I withdrew."

08:29 pm: Rigathi Gachagua: I don't think it is honourable to be a quitter. I think you must fight from within and pursue what you intended. My sister Martha quit President Kibaki's regime when the President needed her, when Raila Odinga was making his life impossible for him. Kibaki has been the gentleman of Kenyan politics.

Rigathi Gachagua and Martha Karua shake hands
Rigathi Gachagua and Martha Karua shake hands at CUEA during the Tuesday, July 19, 2022 debate.

08:17 pm: Martha Karua: I will serve with honesty, and my track record speaks of that. I have been a consistent public servant who does her work in the manner prescribed by the law. I will devote 100% to the people of Kenya.

08:14 pm: Rigathi Gachagua defends the Kenya Kwanza Manifesto noting that it is aimed at helping the Kenyan population. Critics had claimed that the manifesto was too detailed and meticulous. 

08:07 pm: Debate between Martha Karua and Rigathi Gachagu kicks off at CUEA.

You can follow the event live HERE:

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07:35 pm: Azimio running mate, Martha Karua, arrives at CUEA for the debate with her grandchildren.

"I am feeling good and you can see I am surrounded by my grandchildren. I am very ready for this debate,"

07:05 pm: Kenya Kwanza running mate Rigathi Gachagua arrives at CUEA for the second debate scheduled for 8:00pm.

"I am a guy who keeps time. You know I was a guy in uniform. I believe in military precision. I was told to be here at 7pm and I am. I am ready for the debate. I hope it is about the people of Kenya. I hope we will not degenerate into triviality, innuendos and rumours.

"I trust that the moderators will give a chance to present our plan to the people of Kenya on turning around the economy, changing their lives and putting food on the table. You know Kenyans are in a state of hopelessness and they feel very dejected. We need to give them a plan. We have that plan."

07:00 pm: The first debate between Justina Wamae (Roots Party) and Ruth Mucheru (Agano Party) ends with a hug between the two running mates.

06:44 pm: Justina Wamae justifies that flour from marijuana can be used to prepare ugali noting, "If maize flour is costly, then Marijuana flour can cook ugali and chapati. The seed produces cooking oil also."

06:34 pm: Ruth Mucheru: There is money stashed abroad. We have started implementing our 100 days. Mwaure Waihiga already wrote a letter to the UN and 15 other countries to start processing our money back. It is possible for us to clear our debt within a day because (the money stashed outside the country) is more than Ksh15 trillion.

06:25 pm: Roots Party's Justina Wamae defend their manifesto to hang corrupt leaders after a fair judiciary hearing while Agano Party's Ruth Mucheru argued that hanging is extreme. Mucheru noted that her government would target the 'big fish' and initiate a recovery process.

Roots Party deputy presidential candidate, Justina Wamae (left) greets her Agano party counterpart, Ruth Mucheru during the 2022 Deputy presidential debate held at CUEA, Karen, Nairobi on July 19, 2022.
Roots Party deputy presidential candidate, Justina Wamae (left) greets her Agano party counterpart, Ruth Mucheru during the 2022 Deputy presidential debate held at CUEA, Karen, Nairobi on July 19, 2022.
The Standard

06:00 pm: Justina Wamae: The marijuana we are advocating for the Cannabis Cannabis which gives you industrial hemp. When pick a leaf and chew, it is going to give you a detox. Industrial hemp isused in nine sectors including textile, construction and make up among others. Cannabis Sativa is what the DCI goes after.

05:47 pm: Ruth Mucheru: I am coming in with my intelligence, corruption free, as a trustworthy person and to bring the development agenda that has been left out of the woman and the youth

05:42 pm: Justina Wamae: Ruth and I are assuring Kenyans that there will be no catfight in this debate. The Deputy President has a role in giving their voice and my role there is to give the youth voice and the women voice

05:30 pm: Justina Wamae and Ruth Mucheru proceed to the balloting process. Justina Wamae picked the first number meaning she would be the first to make a presentation.

05:06 pm: Roots presidential running mate candidate Justina Wamae and her Agano counterpart Ruth Mutua arrive at the Catholic University for the first part of the running mates debate. It is reserved for candidates who have less than five per cent popularity in recent opinion polls. 

You can follow the event live HERE:

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