“We are very much disturbed”: Kenya’s Catholic Bishops on Country’s Dialogue Process

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

Catholic Bishops in Kenya have expressed their concern about the political situation in the country.

In their Friday, April 20 statement shared with ACI Africa, members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) say they “are very much disturbed” by the seeming lack of progress in the choice of talks that President William Samoei Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga agreed to undertake earlier this month to end weekly anti-government protests.

On April 2, the leader of the Azimio One Kenya Coalition said he had acknowledged and accepted “the olive branch” for bi-partisan parliamentary talks that President Ruto had offered, calling off the weekly anti-government demonstrations that he had declared would be taking place on Monday and Thursday aimed at forcing President Ruto to lower the cost of living among other demands.

Recent reports have indicated a “standoff” between the Kenyan government and the main opposition coalition, some national media reporting that the bipartisan are “on the brink of collapse” due to the hardline stand that parties in dialogue are taking, and others featuring opposition leaders threatening to resume weekly anti-government protests.

“We are very much disturbed by the apparent standoff which could easily lead to hardened positions and delay the urgently needed process of dialogue,” KCCB members say in the statement that their Chairman, Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa Archdiocese read out on April 20.


In the six-page statement, Catholic Bishops in Kenya express their disapproval of “destructive demonstrations” and advocate for dialogue, which they say is “the only civil way” to resolve Kenya’s socio-political challenges.

“We encourage all parties and citizens to refrain from destructive demonstrations and instead commit themselves to the path of dialogue as the only civil way of resolving political and social issues affecting our country in order to have a reconciled and inclusive nation,” they say.

Making reference to what Reuters has described as “a bloody power struggle” in Sudan, KCCB member warn Kenyan political leaders against a standoff and turning their backs to constructive dialogue.

To resolve challenges in Kenya, which the Catholic Bishops in the country attribute to “unresolved historical injustices and mismanagement of public resources,” they say that “Kenyans require a peaceful environment free of confrontations and street demonstrations.”

“We urge all our leaders to use non-violent means in resolving conflicts. We in particular appeal to them to embrace our national values enshrined in the Constitution instead of allowing themselves to be driven by personal and selfish political interests,” they say, reiterating their Easter Message in which they cautioned Kenyan political leaders against “seeking personal benefits”.

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The Catholic Church leaders urge Kenyan politicians to “re-evaluate their value system and guided by their conscience, endeavor to do what is right for all Kenyans.”

In their collective statement following days of meeting in Nairobi, the Catholic Bishops also commiserate with Kenyans concerning the high cost of living, and call upon the government “to give tax relief”.

“We appeal to the Government to give tax relief on basic items as a way of cushioning the poor,” KCCB members say in their April 20 statement.

“Dear Kenyans, we are aware that most of us are struggling with many challenges but we must not lose hope,” they say, and continue, “As a nation, we have come from far to be where we are, so let us celebrate whatever little steps we have made together.”

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