By Arnold Neliba
MOMBASA, NOVEMBER 11, 2022 (CISA)– Catholic bishops in Kenya have appealed to political parties in opposition to ardently exercise their watchdog role of the government in ensuring it fulfils the promises made to Kenyans during the electioneering period.
“Being in the opposition, they should be bold enough to highlight pertinent issues affecting the Country and give constructive criticism,” reads a November 10 statement by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) after their plenary meeting in the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa.
“We remind all Kenyans that our constitution grants us the right to keep our elected leaders accountable and ensure that they deliver on their promises. We need to remain vigilant and engage our leaders challenging them to focus on service delivery, and to be fully transparent in the use of public resources,” the bishops said.
Three months after elections and with the country gradually returning to normalcy after a tense political season, the bishops underscored the need to address some of the pertinent and perpetual social issues affecting the country “especially corruption and insecurity in the North Rift region, which we hope the Government will tackle in a systematic way as matters of priority.”
The bishops also warned politicians against keeping the country in a politicking mood but instead urged them to work towards delivering their promises to Kenyans: a challenge the elected leaders need to take seriously as responsibilities conferred to them through the vote.
“This is not the time for leaders to pass blame or engage in needless political rhetoric. Let our leaders strive to be servant leaders, focusing on improving the economy for the benefit of all citizens,” the bishops said.
“We call on the parliament to look into the taxation regime and consider practical fiscal policies like zero-rating some of these basic and essential food items. This will lead to the reduction in the prices of basic food items and petroleum products whose rise has a direct effect on the cost of living,” said the prelates while decrying the unbearable high cost of living.
In the statement, the Catholic bishops invited all Kenyans to pray for the government and leaders “so that they may be faithful to the high calling they have received,” and always to be conscious ” of their role as stewards of the wellbeing of the people and the nation of Kenya.”