- Nesh Maina
Citizen TV anchor Yvonne Okwara has described moderating the presidential debate as the highlight of her media career.
Speaking during the News Gang show on Thursday, July 28, she recounted how she was overwhelmed by the whole exercise, from planning to live shooting, dubbing it a national duty.
The role of the moderator, she added, was equally important to that of the presidential candidates as they all shaped the discussions at the event.
"I remember stepping back and seeing how important that moment was in terms of everybody coming together with one single goal.Deputy President William Ruto at the presidential debate at Catholic University on Tuesday, July 26, 2022Kenyans.co.ke
"I think it is a very solemn spiritual role to play. It was the highlight of my career so far. That stage is big for the candidates. It is also big for the journalist conducting the debate. It is something that I will remember- the good and the bad. I was honoured to have played that special duty," she stated
Further, she credited the success of the debate to the organisation of the media houses which partnered together to produce the one-of-a-kind production.
"It is an operation like I have never witnessed. All media houses from all departments were there. That was a massive operation and there was no media house. It was one huge newsroom."
Okwara moderated the main presidential debate alongside Erick Lattif of Standard Group Media.
The duo was set to engage Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. However, the latter withdrew from the debate.
Latiff and Okwara have since received many accolades for their eloquence and skillset.
"Yvonne Okwara and Eric Latiff have just redefined the quality and level of a presidential debate. Serious and philosophical in probity, rich in content and above triviality! I applaud them!," 2013 presidential candidate James Ole Kiyapi stated.
"The duo is prosecuting this debate like a court case. It is fantastic. Setting up the question, waiting for a response and then dropping follow-up questions using the candidate's own words. Kudos," a tweep echoed.
Outgoing Kitui governor, Charity Ngilu, on the other hand stated that Okwara had put the Kenyan women on the map following her role at the debate.
"This is the election that will cement and respect the place of women in this country. Enough is enough," she stated.Yvonne Okwara and Erick Lattif at the Presidential Debate of July 26, 2022.Kenyans.co.ke
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