The decision by both President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga to skip the presidential debate and the opposition leader’s tour of Kiambu were the most talked about events on Twitter in the past week.
The two issues dominated conversation during the peak days for Jubilee party and the National Super Alliance, reveals a review of Twitter conversation by Nation Newsplex and @Twitter.
From June 30 to July 6, Jubilee was the most talked about political party on Twitter, retaining the top spot. Jubilee was referenced in 64,260 tweets, double the number related to NASA, which was 29,197 tweets.
On Jubilee’s peak day, July 5, the conversations focused on the announcements by President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga that they would opt of the presidential debate, the Jubilee rally in Kajiado and the Nasa rally in Bomet.
The conversations were fuelled by the hashtags #presidentialdebateke and #get5votesforuhuruto.
Some Kenyans were not happy with the President’s move. @ChesoliProtus tweeted: “@UKenyatta has decided not to face the people of Kenya in a real debate on Monday the 10th #AStrikingNationKenya#UhuRutoInKajiado”.
Others did not think skipping the debate is a big deal. @kelvin_bishop said: “If I were "President Uhuru" I wouldn't attend the debate either with someone who has refused to declare he will concede if he loses.”
But @philobbas felt that the President was just posturing and he would change his mind. He said: “This man will make a U turn. He did this in 2013, we want to hear from him he has to attend.”
But a short while later when Mr Odinga also said he would not take part in the debate it was the turn of the president’s supporters who had been feeling the heat to gloat. @FMfalme said: “Uhuru pulled out of the debate, NASA followers started bashing ati oh! he has no agenda. Then suddenly Raila withdrew too, now they are quiet.”
Even one of the presidential candidates, Ekuru Aukot, weighed in on the matter. @EAukot tweeted: “Today @Ukenyatta and @RailaOdinga have chickened out of the much hyped #PresidentialDebateKE. I encourage them to come we debate issues”.
On Nasa’s peak day, July 4 2017, Twitter talk was fuelled by the party’s tour of Kiambu and Senator Orengo’s claim that there were plans to harm Raila Odinga, stating that there were 60 administration officers undergoing special training in Wajir, with eight being dispatched to trail Raila Odinga.
The Nasa leader set the conversation going with a tweet. @RailaOdinga said: “Today's meet-the-people tour of Kiambu provided for reflective moments. Thank you Kiambu! NASA promises a Kenya that leaves no one behind”. The tweet got 476 retweets, 914 likes and 135 comments.”