Mohammed Abduba Dida, a second time contender to the top seat wants the two presidential debates slated for July 10 and July 24 2017 stopped pending the hearing and determination of case he has lodged at the high court in Nairobi.
The Alliance for Real Change flag bearer says the categorization of presidential candidates in “terms of the so called national opinion polls will be prejudicial to his interest as a presidential aspirant to the extent that one section of the candidates will be elevated to the detriment of other players.”
He has sued the Debates Media Limited and the Media Council of Kenya for violating Article 38 of the constitution which outlaws discrimination.
“The first respondent( Debates Media Limited) has unfortunately and unconstitutionally classified the presidential candidates in terms of candidates who have garnered at least 5 per cent of popular support countrywide and candidates who have less than 5 per cent to carry out two separate presidential debates involving the two categories,” Dida states in papers filed by lawyer Eddy Orinda of One& Associates.
Interest of justice
Dida says the move will not only entrench the culture of political intolerance but will also muzzle political discourse in the country.
“I stand to suffer great prejudice… my constitutional rights are at the threat of being trampled upon ” Dida says.
Debates Media limited will stage two presidential debates for candidates for President and one for presidential running mates or candidates for Deputy president.
The debates are aimed at affording candidates the opportunity to explain to the Kenyan public their respective positions on key national issues.
Dida wants the court to declare that all presidential candidates are equal with regards to articulating their manifestos at such public debates.
Lawyer Orinda said the debates do not have a level playing field for all participants and the said briefing is not stopped will be prejudicial to the petitioner.
“All contenders, in the interest of justice be afforded the same status as by law,” the lawyer said.
The presidential debates slated for July 10 and July 24 2017 will be broadcast live to the public on all the major electronic media platforms in the country.
Orinda says the debates do not offer a level playing field for those gunning for the top job.