KENYA: Religious Leaders Ask Government Officials to Stop Lying to Kenyans

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, NOVEMBER 24 2023 (CISA)-While protesting insensitive changes in policies and socio-economic models that have contributed to the rising cost of living in the country, religious leaders have called for an end to the culture of dishonesty among leaders characterized by lies and deceptions.

In a forum bringing together The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) in Nairobi Region, they raised concerns about the growing display of dishonesty among political leaders.

“We remind all political leaders that Kenyans trusted them and elected them to the positions they hold, and persistently lying and acting without integrity is a terrible betrayal of this public confidence,” reads a statement released on November 22.

In recent days, President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua have been captured issuing contradicting statements, especially on El Nino and the disbursement of funds to counties to mitigate the devastating floods that El Nino has unleashed across the country.

The misinformation being peddled by the top leadership has caused an uproar among Kenyans and a section of opposition leaders because as they persist in their double speech, Kenyans continue to endure poor livelihoods, abject poverty and situations that require urgent remedy.

“Kenyans are fully able to handle the truth, and Kenya will thrive when we all shed off lies and deceptions,” they wrote.

To urgently address the high cost of living, they propose that the state “Suspend the implementation of the higher taxes introduced through the Finance Act 2023 to give Kenyans and businesses a chance to recover. This will actually lead to higher tax income for the government.”

Alongside convening a public discourse on measures to root out corruption which has penetrated every sector in the country, the religious leaders suggest that “Deliberate measures should be taken to reduce expenditure by both national and county governments. The massive wastage being witnessed and flaunted is really heartbreaking for Kenyans who are toiling hard to pay taxes.”

“We call for speedy and open investigations into the circumstances bedevilling the fuel sector leading to high and unsustainable pump prices. Any person found culpable should be removed from holding public office for causing such suffering to Kenyans,” they said asking the government to make public the details and conditionalities attached to loans and other international agreements that Kenyans will be paying for.

Although the cost of living is part of the issues being addressed by the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) among other issues, the religious leaders are appealing to the members of the Bipartisan talks to carry on with the process to the end and provide a people-oriented solution to the country.