According to the clergy, findings of a nationwide survey where 71% rated the government’s performance as Below Average and 74% believed the country was headed in the wrong direction prompted the move.
In their joint statement, NCCK argued that it was the President’s responsibility to take remedial action to address the dire situation in the country.
“This is a very worrying state of affairs, and there is an urgent need for remedial action,” said Bishop John Okinda, Vice Chairman of NCCK.
The pastoral letter began with a call for empathy as it pleaded with the President to “listen to the cries of Kenyans.”
Drawing from the Constitution of Kenya, the letter emphasized the principle of service to Kenyans, urging President Ruto to engage in dialogue with the citizens.
NCCK on Cost of Living
“We therefore plead with you, Your Excellency, to listen to the cries of Kenyans.
The level of stress and mental anguish has risen to unmanageable levels, and if the situation is not resolved, the damage to the individuals and the nation will be unredeemable,” read the letter in part.
NCCK held that Kenya’s main concern was the soaring cost of living with millions falling below the poverty.
“The biggest concern of the people of Kenya is the high cost of living. The soaring cost of
commodities coupled with dwindling expendable income, has pushed more Kenyans below the poverty line.
The collapse of businesses, both big and small, has exponentially raised unemployment levels in the country. This situation, Your Excellency, is unsustainable regardless of any macro-level economic measures being put in place,” stated the letter.
At the same time, they asked the Kenya Kwanza government to go slow on the taxes and monthly statutory deductions imposed on Kenyans.
“We strongly recommend that you provide reprieve for the people by lowering taxes and freezing the increment of statutory deductions for health and retirement insurances.
Instead, we urge for measures to promote growth of export-oriented businesses. This will earn the nation the much-needed foreign exchange and also increase tax income without unnecessarily aggravating the people,” read part of the statement signed by Bishop Okinda and Rev Chris Kinyanjui – NCCK’s General Secretary.
Furthermore, the church leaders went after the Kenya Revenue Authority, after reports of the agency raiding homes to count livestock. The taxman has also been accused to harassing businessowners.
“We call for an immediate stop of the exercise where staff of the Kenya Revenue Authority are visiting homes of the people to count their livestock and other subsistence properties. These measures are oppressive and will worsen the already weak food security of our people.”
Also, the church leaders raised questions on how the government utilizes the billions of shillings it receives in form of loans.
“Different reports including the one by the Auditor General have raised concerns on the amount of loan funds received in the country and how the money was used. There are also publicly made claims that some of the loan repayment funds drawn from the Exchequer actually end up in private hands.”
For them, there was need for an audit to establish if Kenyans are getting value for every coin.
“We now plead that you hear the cry of Kenyans and institute an independent audit of
Kenya’s public debt. It is a point of justice to let Kenyans know what they are paying for and to facilitate legal action against any persons who have been involved in any irregular processes.”