KENYA: Bishop Oballa Links Inherent Corruption to Rising Cost of Living

By Arnold Neliba

MOMBASA, NOVEMBER 24 2023 ()-“The high cost of living facing us today can be linked to past and present corruption,” Bishop John Oballa Owaa has said.

The chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops -Catholic Justice and Peace Department (KCCB-CJPD) in a statement released at the commencement of the CJPD Annual Consultative Meeting in Mombasa on November 21, decried how corruption is deeply rooted in Kenya’s political system.

CJPD Annual Consultative Meeting in Mombasa in November 2023

“Over-taxation and excessive borrowing without accountability are some of the issues we may speak about as we bring life to the principle of preferential option for the poor,” he said in the statement.

As the country awaits the Bipartisan Committee report, the bishop hopes that besides capturing the submissions by Kenyans, the report should also


suggest how to support the opposition to keep the government in check.

“Key among them being the need to have a strong opposition with adequate funding to enhance its oversight role on the Government. A compromised opposition promotes corruption and can hardly speak to social injustices engulfing the society,” he said despite the talks engineered by President William Ruto and Opposition Leader Raila Odinga staring at a collapse due to disagreement between the two camps.

This is following the lapse of the November 22 deadline set by the committee for the submission of the report to parliament. The status of the discussions now hangs in the balance after the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u appeared before the committee and said that the tax cut demands by the opposition toward lowering the cost of living cannot be implemented immediately.

Amid the current political bickering, Bishop Oballa urged the CJPD Executive Secretaries and Representatives of Institutions to counter the lies by politicians already being peddled to Kenyans.

“Already, we can see politicians vigorously campaigning and sometimes telling lies to the public, hence the need to counter such narratives through objective awareness creation and ensuring politicians implement their manifestos,” he stressed while urging them to embark on continuous civic education and shuttle diplomacy.