To Ease Kenyans’ Suffering, Tax “in small measures”: Catholic Bishop to President

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Lodwar

The Kenyan government can ease the suffering of citizens by implementing the rise in taxes in phases, Bishop John Mbinda of the country’s Catholic Diocese of Lodwar has said.

Speaking after presiding over Holy Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral of his Episcopal See, Bishop John Mbinda said that while the need for taxes is undeniable, citizens need “money in their pockets” to cope with life.

“While our President has a good idea of taxing us so that he can use the money to make a difference, he can do it in small measures so that citizens don't lack money in their pockets,” Bishop Mbinda said on February 25 Eucharistic celebration where he presided over the launching of the 2024 Lenten Campaign in his Episcopal See.

He lamented that in Kenya, “everyone is crying that there is no money in the pocket” and that “the suffering has been too much.” 

“We ask the government to help us regarding tax matters,” the first-ever Kenyan-born member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans/Holy Ghost Fathers/CSSp.), who started his Episcopal Ministry in June 2022 emphasized, referring to the need for President William Ruto-led government to ease the suffering of Kenyans. 


President Ruto has implemented a number of new taxes and increased existing ones since taking office as Head of State in August 2022.

Last August, Kenya’s Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development issued a public notice announcing the implementation of mandatory contribution towards the Housing Fund proposed in the Finance Act, 2023 effective from 1 July 2023, Kenyan media reported.

In its January 26 ruling, Kenya’s Court of Appeal declined to extend the order that allowed the Kenyan government to continue collecting levies towards the affordable housing initiative, The East African reported.

On his part, President Ruto has continually insisted that the affordable housing project must be implemented “no matter what”.

On February 18, Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri Archdiocese faulted the government for prioritizing the affordable housing project, which is funded by the housing levy, saying Kenyans have other priority needs, that must be addressed before that of housing.   

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“Right now, Kenyans don't necessarily need houses; they need food and survival; can we first address that and then come back to housing?” Archbishop Muheria said, adding that Kenyans are reeling under the high cost of living because of the introduction of new taxes.

The Kenyan-born member of Opus Dei called on the government to listen to the plight of Kenyans.

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