Catholic Church says nation doomed, sliding into despair

FROM LEFT: Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops chair Philip Anyolo, Archbishop of Mombasa Martin Kivuva and Ngong Bishop John Oballa address the Press at Queen of Apostle Seminary, in Nairobi, yesterday. [Edward Kiplimo]
Kenya is doomed unless urgent measures are taken to usher in reforms.

This was the verdict on the state of the nation by the Catholic church yesterday, as bishops warned politicians must not take over pulpits.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said the country is bereft of credible role models.

The bishops pronounced themselves on a wide range of issues ranging from corruption to suicides, wanton murder and runaway gambling.

“Dear Kenyans, we note with concern the despair setting in our country because of our inability to find lasting solutions to our political, social and economic challenges,” warned the statement read by KCCB chair, Archbishop Philip Anyolo and his deputy Bishop John Oballa.

Lack vision

The bishops who were joined by John Cardinal Njue, said corruption has been accepted as a way of life as leaders continue to amass more wealth.

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In the statement, the bishops fell short of calling for a revolution to bring a new crop of leadership.

They said: “Unfortunately, we are stuck with the same type of politics and politicians, which we know from experience will not deliver to us the Kenya we want. What we are seeing is a game of musical chairs sat on by the same recycled players who lack vision to inspire Kenyans for a better future.”

The bishops pointed out that corruption is now a national disaster. They cast aspersions on state agencies commitment on the war on corruption, and wondered why the Director of Public Prosecution, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission are not able to process water tight cases expeditiously and prosecute them successfully.

“Corruption and corrupt people have become immune to all measures and continue to slide the country into a bottomless abyss of hopelessness, poverty and despair. Efforts to fight it don’t seem to bear any fruit. And as usual, politics seems to be hijacking the discussions, finding its way into any meaningful attempt to address the evil,” said the bishops.

To fight corruption, the bishops promised to move from talk to action in a three-point plan including rejecting corrupt practices and teaching faithful to do so; pushing for rejection of bribes by ordinary Kenyans; and signing petitions to fight corruption.

“We are caught up in perennial endless political bickering, maneuvers and utterances that slow our country from moving forward in a fresh direction that will bring meaningful development and nationalintegration to the country,” they said.

The bishops decried the trend of youth committing suicide and engaging murders.

“Something has gone wrong in the society and we must face the reality of the desperation setting in. Our young people are increasingly descending into depression out of frustration in their lives, either from lack of gainful employment or poor guidance from their families, friends and community.”

No role models

The clerics blamed this on lack of role models for youth, a situation they said will sooner or later lead to chaos, instability and civil unrest.

“Reading the signs of the time it is clear that we are becoming a society fueled by greed and love for money,” the bishops cautioned.

They attributed the greed to gambling which is common among the youth.

The bishops termed the clamour by MPs to increase their perks as insensitive to Kenyans who are already overburdened with taxes. They also raised concern over the ballooning national debt sayingmost of the funds are going into people’s pockets.

“Kenyans have reason to worry, given our culture of corruption, that a huge chunk of these loans will end up lining the pockets of corrupt officials who are seeking their own interests,” the bishops added.

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Kenya Conference of Catholic BishopsCatholic churchArchbishop Philip Anyolo