Activista made noise on KEDebate13

Friday, February 15, 2013 - 08:52

John Mulingwa - everybody is talking about jobs, but what changes can I expect as a Youth, if they get elected to be president?

It is only twilight for 20 minutes in Kenya – after that, most people find shelter and electric light indoors. Earlier this week, I watched the presidential TV debate with a group of Activists, who had invited me to participate and witness how they stole some of the evening’s agenda via social networks - just after twilight.

The 10 activists, I was watching the debate with, volunteer in different organisations, and were brought together by the youth arm of ActionAid, Activista, and the training facility, Global Platform Nairobi.

The presidential television debate was a milestone in Kenyan history and the first of its kind since independence almost 50 years ago. The event aired on all major TV and radio stations and gave the voters an opportunity to compare the eight candidates running for presidency at the elections on March 4.

Commentators have not agreed on a clear winner among the eight candidates but the debate itself and the parallel online debate was a big leap forward for Kenyan democracy.

While the Kenyan twilight zone is short, the presidential debate that followed took several hours. The eight presidential candidates commented on issues such as the International Criminal Court, social services, tribalism, security and unemployment. The debate was limited since everybody was given time to present their view. The online debate was more alive.

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Phil Chikwiramakomo ?@Chikwiramakomo - Surprised no one has mentioned the size of the government and its cost. @GPNairobi #KEDebate13

#KEDebate13 topped the global list of hash tag on Twitter and the Activists had more than a fair share of contributions to the online debate. They contributed with precise and timely input, that were retweeted across East Africa – by politicians, business people, Youth – anyone who was online and cares about Kenyan politics.


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When asked, nobody seemed to doubt, that the Kenyan Presidential election is a two-horse race between the leading candidates Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta from two of the most influential families in the country. The Activista members did not agree to support any candidate, but they called for a overhaul of the leadership in Kenya.

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Rose Alulu @GPNairobi eat lunch and follow Mohammed Dida's diet? eat when hungry, ensure you create space for water, food and breathing space!