KENYA: Bishops Call for Unity and Continued Sharing of Resources amid Pandemic

NAIROBI, JUNE 5, 2020 (CISA)-The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has called on Kenyans to remain united in all fronts and continue to share resources to cushion each other from the effects of the Covid-19.

Conveying the message from the KCCB after presiding over Pentecost Sunday Mass at Holy Family Minor Basilica in Nairobi on May 31, Bishop James Maria Wainaina , the Chairman for KCCB-Council for Economic Affairs noted that in order to overcome the negative political, social and economic effects of Covid-19 Kenyans must remain united at all levels.

“This will help us to quickly unleash our resilience to rebuild our country in all fronts especially our economy and social life…we need to keep reminding ourselves of the dire need to continue sharing our dwindling resources and abilities, in a just and equitable manner…this is not the time to seek to make unreasonably high profits, but to make sacrifices for the benefit of others,” said the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a.

He urged property owners, employers, business persons including social and political spheres to engage honestly among themselves for the common benefit of all stakeholders.

“The landlords must be ready to negotiate and agree on a way-forward with their tenants, business people with their customers, service providers with beneficiaries of their services, and employers with their employees. There is life to be lived together beyond Covid-19. The tendency to turn calamities into opportunities for self-enrichment or to exploit the needs of others in corrupt deals is abhorrent and must be condemned,” he noted.

He commended the Government for unveiling the economic stimulus package, and appealed for expeditious pay of all genuine suppliers and urged for urgent settlement of money owed by NHIF to Faith-based Health facilities, and also waive taxes on consumables essential in the fight against Covid-19.

“In this regard, we appeal for the urgent settling of money owed by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to our faith-based health facilities so that they can continue rendering their much needed services,” he said.

“Moreover, since the “new normal” is now characterized by Face Masks, PPE’s, hand-sanitizers, hand-washing soaps, cleaning detergents, we call upon our Government to consider waiving taxes on these items, and others like ambulances and other. It is also important to avoid taxes that increase commodity prices,” he added.

The bishop also noted with concern and condemned the increase in cases of domestic violence, since the onset of Covid-19.

“We, as Catholic Bishops, are also concerned about reports of increased violence in families. Domestic violence and Gender Based Violence are not acceptable. Let us celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit in an environment of peace and harmony in our families…let us make our families the last fortress against Covid-19,” he said.