The Bungoma Debate: the highlights and what other media stations can learn


Debate moderator Larry Madowo (courtesy of http://www.youtube.com )

The date set was 8th July and all the aspirants came  eager to make sure they have been heard on the show. They all came armed with information and they were all prepared to avoid  embarrassing themselves on National TV.

The debate was moderated by Larry Madowo who seemed to be very prepared for the show. He was very ready to tackle all the dicey matters that have been affecting the county for the last four years. From Ksh100000 wheelbarrows to Pan Paper mills and other issues which came up during the live televised debate.  Here are some of the highlights and very important things I observed on the show.

  1. The level of maturity on the show

The show exhibited a sense of maturity in the political candidates. The show did not have people attacking each other on the show because of their looks or because of personal thing. it was like watching an intellectuals debate on the show. This was a shift from the Nairobi debate which saw a lot of name calling and comedy.

Larry was able to make sure the debate was centered on issues and policy rather than just rhetoric they have been sharing in their rallies and saying things just because they want. they steered clear of making comments that were political and policy minded.

  1. Larry’s steady prowess on the show

Larry was able to control the audience and he was able to keep them as quiet as they are supposed to.  However he took this role too seriously and at some point forgot that someone was speaking. One thing for Larry is that he did not go with the normal debate rules. He did things his own way and he was able to make sure they have given the right answers on the show.

He was able to keep the debate issue based. He was able to give the issues as they are and get the answers he deserved. For instance he held Afred Khangati to tell about how he his leadership abilities in sports will be able to make him more accountable and a better leader.

  1. Devolution remains a huge problem for candidates

Devolution has been a very thorny issue since the inception of the constitution. The issue has become more and more complex as days go by. The issue also came into play in the debate. Governor Lusaka came under fire from all the aspirants as they tried to make him more accountable about his role.

The issue of accountability and governance came into play. From the controversial wheelbarrows worth 100,000 and the closing down and sale of Pan Paper Industry to private investors Governor Lusaka had a hard time trying to explain his policies. He however had an edge as he was able to explain his position and be able to make sure that some of the decisions were because of threatening by the Ward Representatives. The thorny issue of dealing with MCA came as a defense to him but he still he was surprised by his opponents. They were able to give a piece of their minds.

The issues were tackled to the best way possible and Larry made sure he had done the best possible so that residents of Bungoma could be able to make better judgment. The debate was a success both for NTV and the residents as they were able to get the right information out there.


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