Kenyan Catholic Archbishop Emphasizes “humane leadership” amid Political Tension

A screengrab of Archbishop Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Kenya’s Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri during the July 16 interview with the Kenyan national broadcaster, Citizen Television. Credit: Citizen Television

Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Kenya’s Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri is calling on political leaders in Kenya to be humane amid political tensions characterized by opposition-led protests that have resulted in multiple deaths, and destruction of property.  

In a Sunday, July 16 interview with the Kenyan national broadcaster, Citizen Television, Archbishop Muheria said politicians from the government and the opposition need to stop giving ultimatums and be “a little calmer in addressing the issues”.

“We need to recover humanity. Leadership needs to be humane, needs to be empathetic, needs to be compassionate,” he said.

The Kenyan Catholic Archbishop lamented the political leadership in Kenya, saying, “Currently the leader is rough, the leader is insulting, the leader is arrogant, the leader is imposing.” 

He appealed, “We need to call the country to tranquility, to sense, to a voice of reason, to a soul feel because we are now going very visceral and very nasty exchanges and it's getting out of hand.” 


Leaders of the Azimio One Kenya Coalition and President William Samoei Ruto-led government have engaged in a political grandstanding, with counteraccusations.

President Ruto has accused the opposition leader, Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, of taking the country towards anarchy. On the other hand, opposition leaders have accused the government of failing to lower the cost of living. 

Mr. Odinga announced three-day anti-government protests starting Wednesday, July 19 to push the government to lower the rising cost of living by repealing the Finance Act 2023 amid other demands.

In the July 16 interview, Archbishop Muheria called on the opposition to call off the planned protests, saying the demonstrations “hurt even further” the struggling economy and harm people. 

“This is not just about sustainability; it's about the risk we have even of losing more lives. The opposition's role is not to make sure that nothing goes in terms of the economy; it's not to paralyze the country,” he said. 

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The Kenyan Catholic Archbishop said that while the Constitution grants the opposition the right to demonstrate, "there is more than the Constitution that's called conscience.”

“Does my conscience tell me that it's worth risking all these people's life? Does my conscience tell me that it is worth pushing a country’s economy to a halt?” he posed in reference to the July 19-21 protests, the third wave of the opposition-led demonstrations that started in March.  

Meanwhile, members of the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum (KCPF) members have pleaded with the opposition coalition to call off the planned three-day protests.

“We plead with you to consider the plight of Kenyans and the obverse effects of sustained demonstrations on both the economy you are trying to salvage and the general welfare of the people of Kenya,” KCPF members say in their statement dated July 16.

They call upon President Ruto “to extend an olive branch to the other side of the political divide and accommodate divergent views from the Kenyan people.” 


The Christian professionals urge the Executive to let go of “their hardline stance on the policies already adopted and particularly those on taxation through the Finance Act, 2023.”

“The only thing the hard lining guarantees is a disruption of business, loss of property and earnings for innocent Kenyans, and a postponement of solutions to our worsening economy,” they say. 

The Christian professionals in the East African nation condemn the excesses of the police force during previous anti-government protests.

At least nine people lost their lives and several others, including children, were reported injured in the July 12 phase of the demonstrations.

“We wish to remind the National Police Service and the Inspector General, Japhet Koome, that Article 244 of the Constitution requires that the Service strives for the highest standards of professionalism and discipline, and complies with constitutional standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Police have greatly fallen short of this requirement in dealing with the protests,” KCPF members decry in their July 16 statement. 

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Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.