After Citizen TV’s Hussein Mohammed got to sit down with Raila Odinga you would think he is done with prime time interviews. However this was not the case when he decided to sit down with NTV’s Smriti Vidyarthi.
The interview lasted one hour with most of it covering the relevant issues that have come up during the campaign period. There are many things that happened during the interview which can be reported but here are some of the highlights of the show.
In the event the Raila loses the election in a free and fair election the he will concede defeat. After a lot of asking and asking again Smriti finally got her answer and here it is this. Raila Odinga will only concede election defeat I the election is free and fair and if he is happy with the entire process.
The IEBC was center stage of this interview. Smriti hit the nail on the head with this issue and gave him a hard time a he had to explain his position on the current ballot tender cases. She questioned him about the paranoia the NASA team with election rigging. She was very forthright in making sure they have given the right information as to why NASA has been spending a lot of time going to court.
However even though I have given her credit for asking about the IEBC she could have handled it differently. For instance they have been discrediting the Al Ghurair firm yet they have also been put to task for rooting for a firm which they thought could tilt to their favour. Also she would have asked about why they have not let the IEBC settle and do its work or trying to have an out of court settlement.
Another thing that was handled perfectly is on political intolerance and how the NASA coalition is working to make sure they have handled this mess that was witnessed a few days in Kisumu and Thika on campaign trail. She questioned how the NASA coalition is trying to sell their peace message but Odinga was not forthright from the beginning and she would have pressed for details on making sure the youth are not exploited in the process of looking for votes.
Issues of policy were not missing from this interview. The show had a lot of things in the interview. The interview covered the broad topic of corruption and how both manifestos (NASA and Jubilee) are a mirror of each other. When it comes to the issue of corruption she was able to make him talk about how they would handle the independent bodies and how they will strengthen them.
However there are issues that need to be handled. The alliance has claimed that they want to legalize chang’aa and make its brewing legal. However no media outlet has been able to question how they will make this happen and this is something about this issue. There is a lot that needs to be done when it comes to making this legal and how they plan on making it a revenue earner for the government.
Overall the interview was able to tackle the few issues that needed to be addressed but there is a long way to go on this. There is a lot that needs to be done and I wish there was a second interview that could have clarified this matter.