KENYA: Bishops Hit Out at Outgoing Government Over Rising Inflation, High Cost of Living

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, JUNE 28, 2022 (CISA)– Catholic Bishops in Kenya in their weekly engagement towards the August General Elections, “Listen to the Voice of the Bishops”, have castigated the outgoing government for the suffering of ordinary citizens caused by rising inflation and high cost of living, urging them not to fall victims of empty rhetoric synonymous with political leaders in the country.

“Many Kenyans are hungry. The cost of living is rising, inflation is soaring and all of us are called to come to the aid of our neighbours. However, the leaders both national and county, their office and responsibility should go out of their way to do so. We urge the national government to move with speed to lower the prices of basic commodities so that families may afford to meet their basic needs.  Kenyans need urgent intervention from the county and national government now, not even tomorrow,” said Most Rev Philip Anyolo of the Catholic Archdiocese Nairobi said on the behalf of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).

In the June 26 statement, the bishops warned that Kenyans run the risk of electing leaders who may follow the same trend, not attending to the well-being of the poor but focusing on their wellbeing and increasing their salaries.

“During our General Elections, politicians want to make us believe life will start after the election and things will become suddenly good. We are fed with this false and empty hope which never becomes a reality. We need to ask those seeking elective positions what plans they have to create the right economic atmosphere even improving our agriculture and not free things they give us,” he implored.

As political campaigns intensify, the prelates have asked aspiring leaders to break their silence on the economic crisis in the country and instead share their manifestos of their plans to avert the suffering it is causing Kenyans.

The bishops say, “It is not enough to decry it, we want to hear solutions and how the new leaders will cushion the poor in this economic crunch. We are concerned that this situation may be used by the aspirants to exploit the sufferings of others for personal pains.”

“We your shepherds know that life is increasingly becoming unbearable for families with meagre resources. Business in the informal sector demands a lot of good governance to create an enabling environment which is compromised by corruption,” they said.

Kenyans, according to the bishops, are very hardworking people but the current situation of the cost of living has been aggravated by misuse and massive corruption in public institutions.

They challenged the aspiring leaders to put clear strategies on how they intend to improve the welfare of the citizens and the rising international debts, which equally is lost through corruption.