2017 Presidential Debates: High Court Gives Final Ruling


Independent presidential aspirant Mohammed Abduba Dida’s presidential debate case as been thrown out by a high court, thus the 2017 Presidential debates will go on.

Abduba Diba who is running under the Alliance for Real Change had sought to temporarily call off the debates.

He dragged the debate organizers, Debate Media Limited and the Media Council of Kenya to court stating that their decision to stage two categories of candidates together was discriminative.

Dida argued that it was unfair to match candidates who per opinion polls had 5% popularity with those who hadn’t.

However, his lawyer Nicholas Orinda was unable to argue the case to the judge’s satisfaction after saying that the current format will mar “political discourse” which is the aim of the debate.

On Friday morning, Justice John Mativo of the Milimani law court threw out the case, saying that the case lacked merit and that he did not see how the Debate Media’s decision was discriminative.

The Debate Media lawyer Walter Amoko said that Dida failed to prove how the current debate format would affect his chances of vying for the presidential seat.

Though Dida also argued that the current format would lock out most candidates, the defendant opposed by saying that it is not their aim to do so.

A couple of weeks ago, an insider from Uhuru’s camp hinted that the president would not be attending the debate because he was not formally invited and that his schedule was fully booked till the election day.

Read Also: Why Uhuru May Not Attend The Presidential Debates

The president’s decision to boycott the debates was officially announced on Wednesday 5th June by the Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju.

Tuju said the president would not attend the debate because the organizers had not informed the State House about the ground rules of the debate.

Hours later, Uhuru’s biggest rival ODM leader Raila Odinga also announced his decision to boycott the debate via NASA chief publicist Salim Lone.

Read Also: Uhuru And Raila To Boycott 2017 Presidential Debates

With the two top contenders now to be absent from the debate slated for July 10th and July 24th, Debate Media is yet to reveal if that would prevent the debate from going on.