Kenyans’ Financial Struggles Causing “mental distress”: Catholic Bishops Urge State to Address High Cost of Living

Members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB). Credit: KCCB

The high cost of living in Kenya is causing mental agony among the people of God in the East African nation, Catholic Bishops in the country have said.

In a Thursday, April 11 collective statement titled, “Cry of the Oppressed”, members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) also decry high taxation and call upon the President William Ruto-led government to address the plight of ordinary Kenyans.  

“The reality of ordinary Kenyans is that they are struggling financially which has often led them to mental distress,” KCCB members say in the statement that was read out during their press conference on April 11.

“The last three years have seen a very sharp rise in the cost of living. At the same time, food produce has fetched an all-time low price in the market,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya lament, adding that unemployment in the country “is at its highest.”

They further lament that Kenyans are ‘“heavily taxed’ by corruption in our services systems!”


“The issue of over-taxation should therefore be understood within this context,” the Catholic Bishops in Kenya say in the six-page collective statement following their Plenary Assembly, during which they elected Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kisumu as the new KCCB Chairman.

They fault the government for not heeding to their previous appeals, saying, “We have urged and continue to encourage the government to improve public participation in assessing its tax regime. That includes listening to the voice of the Churches and other faiths who have been clear on what path may be most beneficial at this time.”

KCCB members say the use of collected taxes ought to be “clear and the benefit for the welfare evident” for the County and National governments.

The Catholic Church leaders further urge the government to go slow on the collection of taxes. They say, “We should not intend to raise billions in a short span at the cost of great stress to ordinary Kenyans. We can develop slowly but with dignity.”

“The Government has the duty and responsibility, even as a Godly and noble thing, to  mitigate these adversities, and facilitate the improvement of the welfare of the citizens,” KCCB members say.

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In the face of the tough economic times, KCCB members acknowledge with appreciation Kenyans’ “resilience”.

We the Catholic Bishops, as your shepherds, are very proud of you, our fellow Kenyans. The resilience of Kenyans to withstand adversities ranging from the cost of living, weather conditions or sickness, has always stood out,” they say, and add that the positive attitude “largely comes from our faith in God.”

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