KENYA: Catholic Bishops Condemn Alleged Misappropriation of Covid-19 Funds

By Arnold Neliba

KITUI, SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 (CISA)-The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has expressed anger and displeasure of Kenyans on corruption amid the pandemic condemning the alleged misappropriation of funds received to fight the pandemic.

“This is a shame. Once again, we are witnessing the ugly head of corruption, which we have continuously condemned, shamelessly looting from vulnerable people ravaged by the virus and harsh economic times,” they said calling upon auditors , the investigative agencies and the judiciary, to take decisive action to deal with the evil and have those involved to face the law.

The August 29 eight-page statement signed by Archbishop Philip Anyolo alongside all members’ bishops of KCCB also highlighted issues the country is facing with recommendations on how to address the concerns as a nation.

The bishops are worried of how the coronavirus pandemic has battered the economy with thousands of Kenyans having lost jobs and closing businesses causing difficulties of sustenance among families.

“We call for more commitment on the part of the Government to avail more resources to assist the most vulnerable members of our society, the poor, the jobless and all those who are struggling to make ends meet,” the statement reads.

As children continue staying home due closure of schools and other educational institutions, bishops recalled parents to their primary responsibility of instilling good morals and good habits in their children.

“Parents must take full responsibility over the education of their children as a virtue and in morality especially on sexual education,” they said, further expressing grave concern on the on the Reproductive Health Bill whose intention they say is to introduce the disguised abortion on demand.

“We cannot claim God is in our midst when we in fact, we are allowing the evil of some individuals who may have killed their conscience to legislate for the killing of our unborn children,” they said, adding that “this is going against the very Constitution that we purport to follow.”

The prelates called upon the government to close all clinics and health units that are procuring abortions and administering contraceptives to minors and teenagers in the name of protecting them terming the practice as “evil”.

On the ongoing referendum debate, the bishops stressed on the need for a referendum which united Kenyans expressing their readiness not to legitimize a process that will further hurt Kenyans. “Any self-serving short-term proposals having the interests of a few privileged and highly placed individuals must be rejected.”

“We make a strong recommendation to all Kenyans to study and look into any amendment proposals in order to judge whether they are specific and compelling. Dialogue must guide our movement forward as a cohesive, just and democratic country,” it adds.

As the country gears into a period of political realignments, they warned that the way it is done currently is risky, insensitive and creating fear among Kenyans moving towards the 2022 General Elections.

The statement was read on the occasion of the consecration of Bishop Joseph Mwongela as bishop of Kitui.