Be Mindful of Lost Lives, Religious Leaders in Kenya to Participants in Political Dialogue

Religious leaders in Kenya during a press conference in Nairobi. Credit: NCCK

Religious leaders in Kenya have called on representatives of opposing political parties in the country who are currently in dialogue with each other to focus on the good of the country, and to be especially mindful of the scores of lives that were in the country’s protracted protests.

Leaders of Kenya Kwanza and Azimio One Kenya Alliance are participating in a dialogue to resolve their differences that have been spiraling from the country’s elections in August last year.  A series of protests that the Azimio One Kenya Alliance announced led to dozens of deaths before the leaders of the opposition coalition called them off.

In their Friday, August 11 statement, religious leaders, who include representatives of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) said that Kenyans had “in the last few days heaved a sigh of relief as the bipartisan talks got  underway” after protests.

“The absence of toxic political bickering has accorded citizens a chance to reflect on their lives and resume livelihood activities,” the representatives of Christian and Muslim leaders in Kenya said in a statement they read out to journalists following their meeting at Ufungamano House in Nairobi.

They called upon the members of the dialogue teams to “wholly focus on the good of Kenya.”


“We remind the two teams that their talks are being held in the backdrop of the deaths of more than 35 Kenyans in the demonstrations that happened in March, May and July 2023,” they said.

They noted that “the success of the talks will assuage the hearts of Kenyans who have been wounded in body and spirit.”

The religious leaders invited the participants at the dialogue to fix the root causes of the crisis in Kenya, saying, “Historically, the political elite in Kenya engage in talks and consultations to address post-election crises that emerge due to disputes over presidential poll results. As such, Kenyans expect that the bipartisan talks between the Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja coalitions will resolve the immediate political crisis, including the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.”

They further urged for the inclusion of an agenda to address what they described as “deep-seated and long standing” issues in the East African country including the consolidation of national unity and cohesion. Those in talks should also address, tackling poverty and youth unemployment, and fighting corruption and impunity, the leaders said.

“We call for a multisectoral approach to national and county level dialogue processes where the voices of all Kenyans are heard,” the religious leaders said.

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In the statement that the Chairman of KCCB, Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde, NCCK Chairman, Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki, and SUPKEM chairman, Al Hajj Hassan Ole Naado, signed, the religious leaders also called for the promotion of dignified livelihoods.

“Recognizably, the majority of Kenyans are suffering immensely due to the ravages of poverty.  While we appreciate the sentiments and plans by the national and county governments to stabilize the economy, these have not reflected on the lives of individual Kenyans, especially the young people,” they said.

The religious leaders called upon the government and non-state actors to focus on strategies that promote adoption and strengthening of dignified livelihoods for the people.

“Prosperity of the nation is premised on the well-being of every Kenyan, and that is where our policies should be focused,” the religious leaders said.

They reminded all Kenyans to exercise restraint even when opposed to the actions of their leaders, saying, “We are in a delicate situation that requires careful consideration of the actions of each of us.”


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.