Our dear people of Kenya and our leaders; may grace and peace be with you.
Dear Kenyans and people of good will, as you well know, August last year we did our part in electing our current leaders. We prayed to God for peaceful election and God heard our prayers. We thank God for the peace that we have enjoyed up to now.
The disarray and the disturbing scenes we witnessed on 20th of March 2023 makes us come back to address you and our leaders both in government and those in opposition.
We had very competitive elections and six months down the line the country is not yet settled politically. Even after the declaration of the Supreme Court on the outcome of the elections there are those who still dispute on who won the election. Furthermore, the saga surrounding the four IEBC commissioners who had a contrary view on the elections results announcement has become a bone of contention. There is also the perception that the government is vindictive to targeted individuals who are being harassed on issues relating to taxation and acquisition of property. These issues have created animosity between the government and the opposition.
On the economic level we understand extent of the frustrations of the Kenyan people. People are struggling to make ends meet. The devastating cost of living, high inflation, high and crippling taxation, excessive borrowing that has made Kenyans slaves in their country working to pay creditors. Moreover, we are witnessing high levels of unemployment that have made our youth to lose hope and disillusioned. In this backdrop the appointment of bloated CAS does not show sensitivity to the prevailing economic situation.
Similarly, the country has experienced a very serious drought that has destroyed the livelihoods of many Kenyans, especially the pastoralist communities. There is also the ongoing banditry menace, especially in the North Rift region, that has costed lives and has made the people live in misery and desperation.
COMMON SOLUTIONS BASED ON DIALOGUE
We as a nation find ourselves in a very difficult situation that calls for our concerted effort to fix current ills besides other deeper such as corruption, impunity and lawlessness that have bedeviled our country.
Indeed Kenyans are deeply frustrated but we need to offer them solutions. We have to find solutions that are peaceful and that will keep the unity of our country solid and intact.
There cannot be a good reason to resort to the stand-off and defiance of our leaders to the detriment of Kenyans. At the same time, the chest thumping from those in government that they will not dialogue with the opposition will not solve the concerns and problems Kenyans are saddled with. The Country is at a place where blame games by our leaders cannot address the country’s myriad of problems and crises.
We come here today to plead and ask our President William Ruto to follow through with his promise to sit with and listen to Hon. Raila Odinga and other leaders and come out with some reasonable proposals to address the main plights in our country specifically, high cost of living that needs urgent attention. We also invite Hon. Raila to accept dialogue for the good of the country. We believe that a sitting and dialogue can resolve this dangerous stand-off. The two need to establish a common ground to address the ills facing the Country and restore the sanity we need in our country.
We decry the use of force witnessed in some instances on the part of the police during the political demonstrations of 20th March 2023. The injuries and loss of even one life is way too expensive. Kenyan lives matter. We urge restraint of the police in such occasions and urge them against use live bullets and excessive force that might cause injury to the people.
We wish to once more make a passionate appeal to the people of Kenya to refrain from continued demonstrations as announced by the leader of the opposition. We make this appeal to the leaders of these demonstrations, personally to Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, Hon. Martha Karua, Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, Hon Jeremiah Kioni and to the entire Opposition. It is not opportune to have demonstrations since such actions will not resolve the problems or grievances cited.
The fact that it is legal to demonstrate should not make it a vehicle to paralyze the Country, nor degenerate to a forceful take over of a legitimate Government! We must allow ourselves to be guided by the law and not our own individual perspectives. Further we should not entertain any goal that seeks to use violence or force to take leadership. Unfortunately we have witnessed looting and the destruction of property that leads to huge losses during the demonstrations.
RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW
The call that the current Government must resign and be replaced by the leader of Azimio la Umoja by acclamation is dangerous. It goes against the fact that Kenya is a country governed by the Constitution. We went to vote and the results were contested in Court. Our Supreme Court made its determination. Therefore we have a constitutionally legitimate Government. Any contestation can only be challenged in the courts. Demonstrations cannot annul or take over the Constitution. We must respect the rule of law. The only way to avoid chaos and anarchy is always to follow the Constitution and the laws of the land.
We therefore, appeal to all leaders to pursue the path of peace and dialogues and create a climate an enabling environment where all Kenyans can work and increase productivity.
We the Catholic Bishops declare our intention and willingness rejoin with the leaders and other Kenyans of goodwill to have national conversation over the issues that are ailing us.
Dear Kenyans, our God has blessed us with the gift of rain that we are now witnessing in many parts of the Country. This is the time to go to our farms and grow food. We cannot afford to be on the streets and waste this wonderful opportunity. It is only our hard work that will transform our country into the Kenya we want.
To our politicians please feel for this Country and follow the path of peace and dialogue that any God-fearing person knows is the only way that will bring prosperity and unity in our Country.
God bless you, God bless Kenya.
MOST REV. MARTIN KIVUVA MUSONDE
CHAIRMAN OF KCCB
ARCHBISHOP OF MOMBASA
Date: 22nd March 2023
- Most Rev. Martin Kivuva Musonde – Chairman of KCCB/ Mombasa
- Most Rev. Maurice Muhatia Makumba – Vice-Chairman/Kisumu
- Most Rev. Anthony Muheria – Nyeri
- Most Rev. Philip Anyolo – Nairobi
- Rt. Rev. Joseph Mairura Okemwa – Kisii
- Rt. Rev. Alfred Rotich – Kericho
- Rt. Rev. Norman King’oo Wambua – Machakos
- Rt. Rev. Peter Kihara – Marsabit
- Rt. Rev. David Kamau Ng’ang’a – Apostolic Administrator of Nakuru
- Rt. Rev. Anthony Ireri Mukobo – Isiolo Vicariate
- Rt. Rev. Salesius Mugambi – Meru
- Rt. Rev. James Maria Wainaina – Murang’a
- Rt. Rev. Paul Kariuki Njiru – Embu
- Rt. Rev. Dominic Kimengich – Eldoret
- Rt. Rev. John Oballa Owaa – Ngong
- Rt. Rev. Joseph Mbatia – Nyahururu
- Rt. Rev. Joseph Obanyi Sagwe – Kakamega
- Rt. Rev. Joseph Mwongela – Kitui
- Rt. Rev. Michael Odiwa – Homa Bay
- Rt. Rev. Willybard Lagho – Malindi
- Rt. Rev. Mark Kadima – Bungoma
- Rt. Rev. George Muthaka – Garissa
- Rt. Rev. John Mbinda – Lodwar
- Rt. Rev. Maurice Crowley – Kitale
- Rt. Rev. Hieronymus Emusugut Joya – Maralal
- Rt. Rev, Henry Juma Odonya – Kitale
- Very Rev. Fr. Benjamin K. Maswili – Apostolic Administrator Military