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DP William Ruto meets international media three weeks to polls

UDA Presidential Candidate William Ruto at a town hall meeting in Nairobi on July 7 2022 [Samson Wire, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has offered international media outlets exclusive interviews, about three weeks before the country heads to the polls.

This comes amid allegations by the DP Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza Alliance that local media houses were biased in political coverage.

In a series of posts on social media on Monday morning, Dennis Itumbi, one of Ruto’s handlers shared a picture of the DP in sit-down interviews with three international media outlets.

Ruto was sitting with CNN’s Larry Madowo, BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza and an unnamed journalist from the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“The next President meets Associated French Press. Freedom is coming,” Itumbi captioned one of the pictures on his Facebook page.

Towards the end of last week, Ruto's campaign secretariat bashed the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) after releasing a report detailing that journalists preferred covering former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, of Azimio la Umoja.

The WSR Presidential Secretariat Director of Communications, Hussein Mohamed, accused the media regulatory body of bias in its report, further stating that MCK did not provide data to prove its claims.

Hussein asked the MCK to focus on its duty of regulating the media space, further asking its leadership to avoid releasing reports that are not factual.

On the presidential debates scheduled for next week, Hussein stated that it was the candidates’ choice to attend the debates or not.

"We gave an advisory to the candidates and they will make a decision based on that advisory," he stated.

Two days before Hussein’s sentiments, MCK had released a report indicating that UDA presidential candidate William Ruto received the most coverage in the last two weeks.

According to the council, since July 1, the deputy president has received 46 per cent of airtime, followed by Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga at 45 per cent.

George Wajackoyah of Roots Party received 6 per cent of coverage, while David Mwaure of Agano Party got 3 per cent of media airtime.

“The increase in DP Ruto’s media coverage is attributed to his coalition’s manifesto launch on June 30,” the Media Council of Kenya said in a press statement dated Wednesday, July 13.