Laikipia, a hotspot of sorts, hosts Gubernatorial Debate


(Posted 27th February 2017)

The Laikipia chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the first ever Gubernatorial debate, to be held in Laikipia County, on Sunday 12th March 2017 at Nanyuki High School from 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on national television. The purpose of this debate is to create a civil, egalitarian and impartial forum through which the electorate and the Kenyan populace as a whole might be more exposed to the persona and agenda of aspirants. This will be a chance for the public to engage in meaningful discussion around the ideals and ideas of candidates vying for the position of Governor – Laikipia County.
The Laikipia chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce sees the need to establish gubernatorial debates in every County, Laikipia being the first, as well as presidential debates as an essential part of our national political culture.

The Format
In a bid to improve upon a traditional Q&A debate, aspirants will mail their priority agendas directly to the moderator, well-known broadcast journalist John Sibi-Okumu. This will provide the starting point for discussion. There will also be questions around the following thematic areas:
1. Enhancing security in Laikipia
2. Protection of Laikipia’s natural resources and wildlife
3. Land use and the protection of private lands
4. Supporting Laikipia’s growing Youth
5. Strengthening Laikipia’s Tourism sector
6. Enhancing Laikipia’s Business environment
7. Strengthening Laikipia’s infrastructure and partnerships with surrounding counties

The debate will be divided into the following sections:

Aspirants will be asked a specific question or questions related to their pre-presented priority agendas or under thematic headings, as mentioned above.

Predefined groupings such as the Business Community, The Ranchers’ Association, The tourism Sector, Minorities, Youth etc. will put a question or questions to be answered in turn by each of the aspirants.

In the spirit of responding to mass concerns, questions will be invited from the floor directed at specific aspirants, but without anyone aspirant being subjected to a barrage of questions in succession.

The incumbent governor and deputy governor would be called upon to assess the positives and negatives of their tenures and other aspirants would share why they think themselves best suited to take over the governorship and what they would like to be considered as their individual legacies if they were to lawfully be elected governor.

Background of KNCCI
The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) is registered as a non-profit private company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act Chapter 486 of the laws of Kenya. It is a membership based trade support institution (TSI) working to protect commercial and industrial interests of Kenyan business communities. The Chamber advocates for the creation of a favourable commercial, trade and investment environment that supports enterprise expansion. Membership constitutes small, micro enterprises (MSEs) as well as medium and large enterprises.

Before the promulgation of the Kenyan Constitution in August 2010, the KNCCI had its main operations at the head office in Nairobi with regional offices in the major towns in Kenya. 2017 marks 7 years after the promulgation of the constitution and when the Chamber amended its configuration to legally establish an office at the National level, as well as offices in all 47 Counties.

Over the years, there has been steady progress towards fostering social unity and promoting the welfare of the commercial and industrial community, as well as promoting, co-ordinating and protecting commercial and industrial interests of KNCCI members and those of the country. The Chamber has led efforts in joining hands with, and supporting government legislations that are favourable to its members, while opposing ineffective bureaucratic measures that hinder progress.
Arguably, the Kenyan business community has typically shied away from actively participating in political platforms. Perhaps this can be attributed to the perceived risk (real or not) associated with political participation. However, KNNCI argues that this “silence” that comes with sitting on the side-lines of political discourse is not feasible. SMEs account for approximately 45% of Kenya’s GDP. It is therefore vitally important to provide a transparent, structured platform so that SME’s and other members of the business community and general public can participate in political discussions with those in public office.

KNCCI advocates for pro-business policies that create jobs and strive to grow the Kenyan economy. Key issues addressed range from smart tax policy and regulatory relief to legal reform and trade promotion.

Gubernatorial debates are an effective platform for candidates to discuss their priorities and plans, and to highlight important contrasts that exist among them. Debates are valuable opportunities for both aspirants and Kenyans because they can greatly assist citizens in processing information so that they can make informed choices about their leaders.

We truly hope that you will join us to participate and cover this debate that is set on creating a platform that is inclusive and supports transparent political discourse in Kenya for Kenyans.