Catholic Bishops Condemn Brutality on “innocent Kenyans”, Urge Police to Target Criminals

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

Catholic Bishops in Kenya have condemned police brutality on “innocent Kenyans” in the latest round of opposition-led anti-government protests and called upon law enforcement officers to target criminals, who infiltrate groups of demonstrators.

In a Wednesday, July 19 collective statement shared with ACI Africa, members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) say, “We, Catholic Bishops, strongly condemn the police brutality inflicted upon innocent Kenyans during the protests.”

“We understand there are criminals who disguise themselves among protesters to vandalize property, steal from people, injure and even kill people in their evil schemes. These are the ones the police should go for to ensure peaceful demonstrations are conducted according to the law,” KCCB members further say.

They emphasize, “Police cannot take advantage to brutalize innocent Kenyans. Such acts are unacceptable and must not be tolerated under any circumstance.”

Police brutality undermines the fundamental principles of the rule of law, human rights, and justice, KCCB members further say in their six-page statement in which they express their solidarity with those who were brutalized during previous protests that resulted in multiple deaths, and destruction of property.  


On July 13, Mr. Odinga announced three-day anti-government protests to kick off on July 19, aimed at pushing the President William Samoei Ruto-led government to lower the rising cost of living by repealing the Finance Act 2023 amid other demands.

In their July 19 collective statement, Catholic Bishops in Kenya make a “passionate appeal” to President Ruto and the leader of the Azimio One Kenya Coalition, Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, to dialogue and seek a peaceful solutions end to the seeming standoff. 

“We now make this passionate appeal to President William Ruto and Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga to give dialogue a chance. We demand that the failed bipartisan talks should be resumed in a different context that brings on board the religious leaders and some other eminent persons and bodies,” they say.

KCCB members add, “We believe that there is no problem, however difficult, that cannot be solved through dialogue. We must at all costs avoid the loss of lives. No further blood should be shed.”

They call upon the government to listen to the pleas of Kenyans, and caution against “unbecoming, insulting and inciting statements”.

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“Many things remain unclear on the Government policy and direction; for example, education, health, the plight of poor, strategies to improve employment, etc.,” they say in an attempt to underscore Kenyans’ priorities, and add, “The lack of transparency and accountability of social funds during Covid-19 and drought has aggravated feelings of isolation and neglect.”

KCCB members say it is "imperative for the government to actively listen to the plight of Kenyans, provide clear and honest explanations for unfulfilled promises, and prioritize policies that alleviate socio-economic burdens".

“We call for adherence to the rule of law both for the citizen and the leadership. This includes respect for court orders and rulings,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.