Twitter, Facebook hosts Kenya’s presidential debate

Kenya’s first ever presidential debate flooded social media on Monday night while also attracting the attention of major international broadcasters such as Al Jazeera and the BBC, some of whom halted their programmes to televise the debate.

According to some statistics, over 100,000 tweets were posted as the three-and-a-half hour debate reached an audience of 189 million on the microblogging site. The debate was also rife on Facebook, where it remains the main topic to this moment.

The YouTube election channel indicates NTV livestream had the highest views, reaching 29,168, followed by the Standard Group’s 17,765 views.

Among issues discussed included the ICC question involving presidential hopeful Uhuru Kenyatta, tribalism, security, education and maternal mortality, among others.

On technology, presidential aspirant Martha Karua said she would invest in aerial surveillance via satellite to ensure security in remote areas, while Kenyatta said he would stop cattle rustling through use of RFID tags that would ensure easy tracing of stolen animals.

Raila Odinga on a light note said that it would be hard for Kenyatta to rule the “country via Skype” while still handling his case at The Hague.

Following the debate, the issues discussed have continued to be debated on social media, with little known Muhamed Abduba Dida stealing the limelight with his comical comments.

The debate is said to have cost a nearly US$1.1 million to organise and a second round is set to be held on February 25.

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