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The National Super Alliance Presidential (NASA) candidate Hon. Raila Odinga was snubbed by President Uhuru Kenyatta while attending the 54th Madaraka Day Celebrations at Kabiru-ini, Nyeri County.

The president and his deputy clearly avoided mentioning the name of the opposition candidate during their speeches. This was different from their past approach where they criticized the opposition leaders.

After the celebrations president Kenyatta neither recognized nor shook hands with the opposition chief.

The president should have given Raila a chance to speak and then make counter arguments and hence effectively prove to Kenyans why he needs a second term at the the State House and Harambee House.

What is it that the president fears? Does he fear his opponent Hon. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Agwambo, Baba or Tinga)? Why did he and his deputy William Ruto snub the opposition chief?

Kenyans on twitter (KOT) lit the social media platform on fire with comments and updates. A number of them (including jubilee supporters) expected that after the Deputy President speech, he would’ve invited Raila Odinga to say a few words. It never happened.

What next? This snubbing issue was a matter of massaging the ego of adherent Jubilee supporters but at the same time it didn’t go down well with their supporters. We expected the president to be more diplomatic and daring. He should have taken the bull by its horns.

He should have grabbed the chance to trigger a debate and set the records straight. On the other hand, the NASA chief has solidified his support by attending an event organized by his opponents. He has once again proven his fearlessness. He took the war to the doorsteps of his opponents! He is a man who never retreats.

Snubbing opponents is an archaic act. This would have worked well if Kenya was a one party state. When this happens under a democracy, it is like an ostrich burying its head in the sand and assuming that its problem will go away. No. No. No. It isn’t right. It’s wrong by all means.

The political advisers of Jubilee presidential candidate have failed terribly. How can you advise the president to snub a golden chance to engage in political debate and try to discredit his main opponent?

Debate is the fuel that lights the fire of democracy. I believe the fire of democracy should continue burning. I saw this fire at the Constitutional Court of South Africa in Jo’burg. It’s not expected to switch off. I don’t know what kind of fuel they use but it was exciting and it created hope in me.

Kenyan politicians need to revise their strategies of engagement. We need to see new strategies and approaches during the political campaign. We should have a shift from individual-based to issue-based politics.

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