NAIROBI, OCTOBER 2, 2020 (CISA)-In a memorandum signed September 25, religious leaders from various faiths in Kenya expressed concern over the growing national debt as the country works towards recovering the economy that was shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As religious leaders, we are increasingly concerned of the growing national debt and the debt servicing obligations that have the potential to interfere with and derail the recovery of the economy,” they said.
They suggested steps that should be considered alongside the various stimulus programs in order to revive and inject resilience into the economy.
“We need a new organic economic growth model after the country survives probably the worst ever economic setback since independence. County Governments should be helped to become effective centers of productivity and wealth creation for all Kenyans,” they said.
The leaders suggested lowering of interest rates, focusing on increased food production as in the Big Four Agenda; specific strategies that will spur the full operations of SMEs and manufacturing industries in order to boost job creation and reconstruction of the economy.
“We wish to note that these interventions can only work if corruption is also stopped completely from the public and private spheres of our Nation so that there is value for every shilling in our country,” they noted.
“There seem to be very few courageous leaders willing to truly be beyond reproach. Leaders are taking advantage of their positions to do business with Government and obtain contracts. We hear of bribes distributed to legislators,” they added.
Expressing dismay over the double life of many leaders who are believers yet corrupt, the religious leaders called on the government to enforce the provision of law that bar elected leaders from engaging in business with government.
“We as Religious Leaders wish to request that the provisions of the law that bar any elected person or Public Servants from having any other interests in businesses or supply tenders to any Government institution should be strictly enforced. Transparency and accountability enshrined in our Constitution must become part of our life stream,” they said.
Supporting the regular declaration of wealth of all public office holders they noted that it is possible that any appointed public officer who has investigations or prosecution commenced against him or her step aside to allow for credible investigations and prosecutions.
“We should start to build a culture of taking personal responsibility for subventions and abuses that occur or take place under one’s docket,” they said.
The memorandum was signed during an audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta at the state house with regard to the state of the nation.
The religious groups represented were Evangelical Alliance of Kenya,General Conference of Akurinu Churches and Assemblies,Hindu Council of Kenya,National Council of Churches of Kenya (N.C.C.K),Organisation of African Instituted Churches-Kenya,Seventh Day Adventist Church,Shia Athni Asheri Jamaat and Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims(SUPKEM).