KENYA: Outcome of National Dialogue Should Not Favor Political Parties but Kenyans, Appeals Archbishop Anyolo

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, OCTOBER 9, 2023 ()– Most Rev Philip Anyolo of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Nairobi has dissuaded the National Dialogue Committee from being insensitive to the plight of Kenyans as they retreat to harmonize proposals presented by the public after the conclusion of perusal of all the memoranda submitted to the team.

The committee constituted of members allied to the ruling coalition of Kenya Kwanza of President William Ruto and the opposition coalition Azimio La Umoja of opposition leader Raila Odinga says it has concluded perusal of all the memoranda submitted to the talks team and will resume its sittings this week.

Co-chairs of the National Dialogue Committee Majority Leader Kimani Ichngwa and Azimio coalition Co-Principal Kalonzo Musyoka.

The dialogue committee says a total of 258 submissions were received and what remains is the building of consensus on the five talks issues between Azimio and Kenya Kwanza teams. The committee now has only 22 days left before its mandate lapses.

According to Archbishop Anyolo, the report “should not favour the political parties, do anything politically as such but in any sense support the people of Kenya who at this time are also hurting with the aspects of the high cost of living.”

The local ordinary of Nairobi who spoke after presiding over a Mass in Kasarani on October 4 appealed, “We continue asking the government and people concerned to do appropriately the work they have been given for the betterment of the people of the people and not just for selfish gains.”

“The most important thing for we Kenyans is to learn to dialogue with one another. Whatever difficult challenge we have as a nation, as individuals, in our families and where we are working, let us enter into dialogue. Our own brothers and sisters have been hurting one another on the political level and everywhere but the best thing and most important thing is to join together,” he emphasized.

Archbishop Philip Subira Anyolo of Nairobi

On the issue of the soaring cost of living that is making life more difficult for many as they struggle to afford necessities such as groceries, fuel and rent, Anyolo urges the government to reintroduce subsidies on basic commodities to cushion Kenyans in the short term as a deliberate and lasting solution is sought.

“Many Kenyans are going without food. Also, many cannot afford healthcare. If their dialogue is to continue, then let us also look at the level of people, what they can afford and what the government can subsidize so that people can live a life that we can call worthy life of a human person,” he stated.

Top of the issues presented by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) to the National Dialogue Committee on October 3 were concerns about the high cost of living and related. They also highlighted the high cost of healthcare, frequent strikes by key sector workers, hunger, social security and corruption, which has interrupted proper service delivery to Kenyans.

The Catholic bishops proposed a raft of constitutional amendments and measures to help address the high cost of living and the institutional corruption bedevilling the country.