By Charles Igwe
Led by the Chairman of KCCB and Archbishop of Mombasa, Martin Kivuva Musonde, Kenyan Catholic Bishops have made a fervent appeal to President William Ruto and Opposition Leader Raila Odinga to seek peaceful means to resolve the ongoing standoff between them. The Bishops expressed concern over the recent demonstrations that have led to loss of life, injuries, property damage, and trauma across the country.
In response to the demonstrations, which included clashes between protesters and police in Nairobi, the Bishops stressed that violence is not a justifiable approach. They called on the leaders and the nation to embrace non-violence and expressed hope that peaceful protests and dialogues can provide a platform for individuals to express their grievances without causing harm.
The Bishops urged the two leaders to resume talks, this time incorporating religious leaders and other eminent persons and bodies, to find a resolution to the existing problems through dialogue. They specifically called for the repeal of the Finance Act, which they believe imposes an unsustainable burden on already distressed citizens, particularly the less fortunate.
Strongly condemning police brutality during the demonstrations, the Bishops emphasized that such acts are unacceptable and go against the principles of human rights, justice, and the rule of law. They reminded the police of the importance of professional conduct in dealing with demonstrations and expressed solidarity with those who suffered from violence.
Despite the challenges and uncertainties faced by Kenya, the Bishops conveyed hope that the country possesses the potential to develop local solutions to address its problems. They urged citizens not to lose hope or succumb to despair and encouraged a united effort to seek peaceful dialogue and resolution for the benefit of the nation.