Catholic Bishops in Kenya Caution Politicians against “seeking personal benefits” in Talks

A section of members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB). Credit: KCCB

Members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) have challenged warring politicians in the East African country to front the interest of Kenyans as they work to resolve their conflicts.

In their Easter Message circulated on Wednesday, April 12, KCCB members laud the move by President William Samoei Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga,  to choose talks in resolving issues that had led to days of violent protests in the country.

They, however, caution the politicians against the temptation to use the talks as a tool to satisfy their personal interests while forgetting the needs of Kenyans.

“We thank H.E. President William Ruto and Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga for their gesture of humility to listen to one another and seek solutions to the political problems we are going through. It is encouraging they have agreed to talk. However, talking is not about seeking personal benefits,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say in their collective message signed by Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde, the Chairman of KCCB.

They add in reference to politicians in Kenya, “We truly hope they will address the ways to uplift Kenyans, and especially those still struggling with famine. They should listen and solve the political hurdles that keep ailing us. It is our hope that they should not let Kenyans down.”


In the Easter message titled, “Who will roll the stone for us?”, the Catholic Church leaders who have previously cautioned against a “slippery road to anarchy” as well as a “stand-off and defiance” recount the tumultuous moments that Kenyans have experienced, saying, “Once more, for the two weeks, we witnessed the worst of Kenyans, even though in limited areas.”

“First, our peace and life is on the balance but we shall overcome,” they say, and add, “Just like the holy women in the gospel, our country, very many Kenyans, our local friends, and friends from abroad are also asking this about our situation in Kenya: we are all asking the question: who will assist us regain our peace and our life?”

“We lost lives, many were injured, property lost or destroyed, livelihoods lost and fear instilled to peace-loving Kenyans. The exchange of insults by those in high offices recalls the insults and the condemnation of Jesus Christ by the elite in society,” KCCB members say.

In a press statement on April 2, Mr. Odinga called off the weekly anti-government protests that were first held on March 20.

The leader of the Azimio One Kenya Coalition, and Kenya’s former Prime Minister declared anti-government weekly demonstrations to take place on Monday and Thursday aimed at forcing President Ruto to lower the cost of living among other demands.  

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Speaking at the April 2 press conference in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, the leader of the Azimio One Kenya Coalition said he had acknowledged and accepted “the olive branch” for dialogue that President Ruto had offered to resolve the issues. 

In their Easter message, Catholic Bishops in Kenya express gratitude for what they describe as  “renewed hope in our peace and life.”

“We are encouraged by the fact that when everyone had thought the mission of Jesus Christ had come to an end with his crucifixion, death and laid in a tomb, God raised His Son to give us a new hope,” they say, and add, “As Kenyans, we have reason to hope and believe firmly that God will bring us back to new hope. Let us all aim to clean the mess in politics that is causing us much harm.”

Meanwhile, Catholic Bishops in Kenya have appealed to citizens of the East African nation to resolve to break the chain of corruption and dishonesty that they say is holding the country, hostage.

The fight and struggle against corruption must start with each individual, they say.


According to the KCCB members, discussions at the National level will not resolve what they describe as the “real cancer” that they say continues to eat people “from our own homes and villages.”

“We have unfortunately let ourselves lose our morals, where we now celebrate theft and lies and normalize them. We want to remove this rock because only then can Kenya rise! We must remember that God's law exists!” the Catholic Bishops say.

They remind Kenyan leaders that the resurrection of Christ is a call to transform the country from pessimism to optimism. 

KCCB members further caution politicians against chest-thumping, saying, “There is no honor in protecting vain glory. It passes quickly. There is no political mileage in playing politics of domination, suppression, and suffocating citizens with taxes whose benefits are not evident.”

“Those in leadership can transform this country if they act from their hearts as human beings, as fellow Kenyans. Kenyans are looking for servant leadership. Kenyans are looking for a leader who will roll the stone for us,” they say.

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To the Bishops, Kenyans can only claim their belief in the resurrection when the country changes for the better.

“When Kenya rises from its ashes, when Kenyans will be courageous enough to reject bribes to be someone's puppet, when Kenyans will not have to bribe to get a job, when Kenyans will not employ discriminatively their blood brothers and cousins and daughters, when Kenyans will get contracts without kickbacks to Government officials, middlemen and even accountants, then we will say we believe in God and exclaim Christ has risen!” KCCB members say.

They add, in their Easter wishes, “Let us not allow evil to reign! Christ has expelled darkness and conquered evil.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.