Historic Presidential Debate

Presidential debateYesterday broke the news of the first papal resignation since the Middle Ages and also that the North Koreans had fired off a nuclear weapon. And yet such global events were overshadowed in our part of the world by the airing of Kenya's historic first presidential debate, that was simultaneously aired live on almost all the nation's TV channels and on the internet.

There had been many naysayers before this – many believed this would be an elitist exercise that would have little effect on already pre-determined voting patterns. Whether they’re right remains to be seen. However, I believe the 3 1/2 hour exercise was a huge win in our young (50 years old) nation’s slow but steady march to a stable democracy. In my opinion, some of the main wins were…

1. Kenyan politicians were publicly and on live TV put on the spot for their policies, something completely inconceivable a few years back!

2. Kenyans had an opportunity to practice agreeing to disagree amicably – the hashtags #KEDebate13 and #Debate254 trended worldwide during the debate and I was rather impressed by the gracious online sentiments expressed by fellow citizens.

3. Kenyans watched their politicians debate maturely, disagree amicably and still remain on smiling terms afterwards – and hopefully learnt to ask themselves ‘if they’re not enemies, why should we be?’, a point well driven home by several beautifully conceived and shot commercials that aired during our nation’s equivalent of the superbowl!

4. We had a chance to witness the power of the media to positively shape a nation’s outcomes – clearly, media is not just a passive reporting tool but has a huge role to play in whether we become paranoid and fearful or patriotic and confident as a nation!)

5. And lastly, Kenyan’s got some much needed dietary advice (‘if you want to be healthy, eat only when you are hungry’) and other pearls of wisdom from school-teacher ‘Mwalimu’ Dida, who taught us not to take everything, including ourselves, so seriously!

All in all, I believe the real debate winners were the 40 million Kenyans and the many others who call this great country home!

What did you think were the main wins in yesterday’s debate? (in case you missed it, you can catch it online here)

‘Oh God of all creation, BLESS this our land and nation!’ You can check out the first message from the series ‘One Prayer’ preparing us for our forthcoming national elections below…

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7 responses to “Historic Presidential Debate

  1. #Dida also spoke of the prayer that we sing in form of a National Anthem! Which #mavunochurch spoke of in the first series of #oneprayer. He was in the Spirit

  2. I was impressed with Dida as the only candidate who brought God to the front and centre of the debate! and was fearless about it!

  3. Like you said, the winners from this debate was the 40Million plus Kenyans who call this home. I think the greatest win is that we got to know these aspirants as who they are, esp under the pressure of our expectaions and questions. We also got to task them on their character based on past performance when they were a somewhat lesser task in leading this nation. It says, that if you are not great in small things, we shouldn’t expect you to be great in big things!!!

    I am using the 5 C’s to evaluate the next leaders!!!!

  4. First ‘occupy’,then ‘one prayer’,so far this year’s sermons are in sync with the happenings in our country.We’ve got a lot to smile about,all presidential candidates were given a chance to present their case #OnlyInKenya.Not even the states can match this,they should borrow a leaf #EqualRights.

  5. I was suprised to hear that Migingo is a rock#RAO…and happy that Dida was there to take away the seriousness of the debate by cracking some interestingly funny jokes,and at the same time ,remind everyone about the prayer #the national Anthem and that God is sovereign

  6. I was really happy to see Dida preach to a 40 million audience and making references to the fact that Kenya is 80% christian yet it doesn’t reflect in our politics and policies. Politicians would rather seek guidance from Waganga than God almighty .I thought this guy was Muslim?
    God is involved in government so should we.

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