Religious Leaders in Kenya Laud Government, Opposition “for hearing the plea of Kenyans”

Religious Leaders in Kenya. Credit: NCCK

Religious leaders in Kenya have lauded efforts made by the Government and the Opposition in the East African nation to halt weekly demonstrations that had routinely been characterized by acts of lawlessness, including property destruction, looting, invasion of private property, and even loss of lives. 

On April 2, Kenya’s opposition leader, Raila Amolo Odinga, held a press conference in which he called off the weekly anti-government protests that were first held on March 20.

The leader of the Azimio One Kenya Coalition who had declared anti-government weekly demonstrations to take place on Monday and Thursday aimed at forcing President William Samoei Ruto to lower the cost of living among other demands said he had acknowledged and accepted “the olive branch” for dialogue that the Kenyan President had offered at an earlier press conference

In their Tuesday, April 4 collective statement, religious leaders representing members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), and the  Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) say the move to halt the protests paid heed to the desire of Kenyans.

They laud President Ruto, and former Prime Minister, Hon. Odinga “for hearing the plea of Kenyans to sit and engage in consultations to resolve their political differences.”


The religious leaders say that they find it regrettable “that so much blood of Kenyans had to be shed and so many properties destroyed before the voice of reason prevailed.” 

Making reference to President Ruto’s call for a bi-partisan parliamentary engagement as a way of resolving the stalemate, the religious leaders urge the leadership of all political parties in Parliament “to fast track the formation of the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee to carry out the necessary consultations to set the framework to address the issues of concern.”

“Let all consultations be open and in good faith and truth. Kenya deserves truth in all processes as citizens listen to each other,” they further say.

They say that the national consultations should discuss “longstanding issues affecting Kenyans” such as lowering the cost of living, tackling unemployment and ensuring dignified livelihoods for the youth, strengthening national cohesion, and addressing impunity.

The religious leaders also urge Kenyans to “firmly resist political and social leaders who drive divisions and violence, and instead demand for peace and betterment of society.”

More in Africa

“We have too many problems to spend our time addressing squabbles between politicians,” they say in the statement also signed by the Independent Medico-Legal Unit, the Elections Observation Group (ELOG), and Kenya National Commission for Human Rights (KNCHR).

Acknowledging that all Kenyans have been affected by the high cost of living in the country, the faith-based leaders and other civil society groups call on the people of God in the East African country to “be hopeful, and work hard to adapt to the changing social-economic and climatic conditions”. 

Kenyans, they say, “must also continually demand that our leaders, both in government and in the opposition, listen to us so that we together seek and implement viable solutions to our problems.”

In demanding good governance, the leaders say that Kenyans “will treasure and safeguard our peace and democracy, and protect our lives and those of our future generations.” 

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.