Two days later, I still cannot shake off the adrenaline that came with the anticipated days where comrades would put men on the stand, critic their aspirations, make them confess of their sins and finally pick their stand. Well with three candidates from the three dockets re-contesting, a lot of contestants being linked to rumored scandals and others accused of being endorsed by third parties, nothing short of an entertaining escapade was expected of the three days. Documenting my thoughts of the said debates is brief, but word from the wise requests one to speak just enough; not too much to bore the crowd, and not too little to give insufficient information.
The JKUSA Executive Aspirants Debates that happened at the Assembly hall from 20th February to 22nd February, seemed to be the most heated forum that will set precedence for other upcoming debates under the delegate system; unless of course honorable Duale re-grants us our rights to vote and re-introduces the popular voting system that comrades do so wish for. Generally, the debate hit above the expected quorum, and at least the aspirants showed up, even if some thought that lack of time management was appealing key in proving a point.
Kicking of the premier, were the non-retreating ladies in the Accommodation docket; Loice Odunga and Naomi Nyambura, who displayed a lot of civilization even if tension was thick in the air. Their match was followed by rivals in the entertainment docket; Moses Waweru and Duncan Odera. Both boys did not want to take the hot seat first, but the battle of who’ll get in first ended when one aspirant realized the essence of time, which in my opinion is key during dialogues.
If the first day was anything to set pace for the next days then it did us justice, because while there was decorum on the first day despite threats of a fight breaking out, chaos began on the second day and escalated to a point where the debates for the last day could simply not take place, which without endorsing anyone’s views seem planned.
The second day, Thursday 20th included the finance secretary and Secretary general debates. The finance seat was the hottest with at least seven contestants who all believe they have what it takes to occupy the most coveted docket including the previous finance secretary. Chaos were of course anticipated in the docket following strong dispassionate feelings between supporters of two major contestants. The secretary general dockets comprised of aspirants who decided to deem most questions irrelevant, a clear notice of the lack of respect for the moderators and to in unclear circumstances, one contestant decided to glue a microphone to his hand and not talk, which agitated the crowd. Provocations were clearly a new trend during these debates.
The final day was the highlight that ended with broken seats and an empty hall, with clearly unanswered questions that no aspirant in the presidential docket was willing to answer. Victor Kemboi and Odada Orinda. who are both vying for Academic secretary, did justice to the floor in comparison to other speakers present on the last two days with their speeches witnessing the least number of chaos. There isn’t much to say about the presidential debates between Clinton Osoro, Hesbon Aboki, Claire Wahome and Eddy Tush because they simply didn’t happen. This specifically, for me as a speaker, sets a bad taste because a leader should be able to control his supporters, and if you can’t control them, then how well can you lead the masses, unless of course was all planned out. Broken seats later, sore throats, sniffed fists and gallons of liquor, all supporters shouted the name of their aspirants into the weekend but unfortunately only one contestant can emerge victorious.
My advice for all aspirants though for purposes of future debates; debating is an art of expression using brains and wits. It isn’t a battle of who has the fiercest goons. It is not a battle of who can insult the other best. No, it a matter of showcasing your manifesto in a way that would put you at the fore front of being the best choice for the comrades so that you can be voted in by the delegates. This not being a popular system anymore, rowdiness does not help speak your case at all. The best man is the one who can stand confidently and respond to the questions being asked without having the need to hide behind fellow men, or disrupt a debate to a point that it isn’t concluded. that, in my opinion is a guilty culprit. Guilty of what though, is a question that I shall forever hold dear. Tomorrow, 26th February, 2019 will be the day of reckoning as the aspirants will have their date with the delegates who will be voting to decide who holds what position. I hope that whoever gets elected will do right by comrades. That they will be leaders and not merely occupants of positions of leadership.
Viva Comrades!!! May the best candidates win.