By Paschal Norbert
NAIROBI, MARCH 14, 2023 (CISA)– “Having settled in office, we now urge you to lead your administration on focusing on solving the problems Kenyans are going through. The nation is depending on you to give forward-looking rather than reverse-heading leadership. Just as you accepted to spearhead an issue-based campaign before the elections, we now urge you to spearhead solution-oriented politics and administration,” said the Kenyan religious leaders drawn from different faith groups in a press briefing held at Ufungamano House, Nairobi, on March 14.
The religious leaders were meeting to review the state of the nation six months after the 2022 General Elections in which Dr William Ruto was elected the fifth president of Kenya. The leaders, however, noted that the period after the elections has been characterized by a high cost of living, dead catting and incitement from politicians that threaten the peace in the country.
“The people of Kenya are experiencing immense suffering trying to survive multiple crises that are approaching disaster proportions. Famine and drought have ravaged the country, leading to the deaths of people and livestock. The steadily rising cost of living is pushing more Kenyans into abject poverty, with attendant desperation leading to an increase in crime,” the faith leaders stated.
“Political actors are working hard to incite politics-driven disillusionment and tension that is likely to result in anarchy. The narratives being driven by the political actors are weakening the basic commitment and submission to the Constitution and Laws of Kenya, which is the fabric that binds us together as a nation,” they warned.
The religious leaders appealed to President Ruto to provide leadership that accommodates all with the realization of the ethnic and class-oriented divisions in the country.
“As the symbol of National Unity, we ask you to focus the nation’s attention on oneness, equity and equality of all Kenyans. It is of essence that you take leadership in reaching out to the opposition to promote dialogue for the betterment of the nation. The challenges facing our nation require national conversations, not adversarial politics,” urged the faith leaders.
The faith leaders while lauding the leadership of the opposition parties to hold the government to account also appealed to Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition “to spearhead issue-based and solution-oriented approach to politics to avoid being seen as champions of anarchy.”
“Moving forward, we encourage you to become a bastion of proposing viable solutions to ameliorate the immense suffering Kenyans are experiencing. In this regard, we urge you to reconsider the proposed mass action programme and instead embrace dialogue and other peaceful approaches that do not threaten the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans,” they added.
The religious leaders represented in the meeting were from the Hindu Council of Kenya (HCK), Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK), Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM).