Clergy oppose calls for referendum

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance leader Raila Odinga (C), addresses the press on November 29, 2023, at SKM Command Center SKM Centre in Karen, Nairobi, during Azimio PG. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Religious leaders have opposed calls for a referendum, stating that lowering the high cost of living should be the priority of the government and opposition.

This came after the National Dialogue Committee led by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kikuyu lawmaker Kimani Ichungwah released the final report.

Speaking in Kakamega during a book launch, Deputy Chairman of Full Gospel Churches of Kenya, Bishop Julius Induli, said the important issue at hand for the government and the opposition is to address the ailing economy.

“For us as clergy, we do not see the importance of having a referendum right now because it will not lower the high cost of living. What is important is to see how the government and opposition can have a genuine conversation on how to liberate Kenyans from the wrath of harsh economy,” said Induli.

The Bishop said religious leaders will back calls to lower the high cost of living, especially the price of fuel and to end over taxation of Kenyans.

Bishop Albert Odinga, Western Regional Overseer of the Full Gospel Churches of Kenya, said the referendum will be expensive to Kenyans considering the country’s struggling economy.

“It will cost us billions of shillings to have a referendum. We support the opposition side on the issue of lowering the high cost of living but we are against the referendum that seeks to reintroduce more items. What the two political sides should do is sit down and find out how they can revive our economy,” said Odinga.

Odinga urged the government and the opposition to find a better way of addressing the issues affecting Kenyans.

“The issues we are experiencing do not necessarily need a referendum but political goodwill and patriotism from our leaders. The government promised to make the lives of Kenyan easier, it should live by its pledges of lowering the high cost of living so that we can avoid unnecessary back and forth on whether to have a referendum or not," said Odinga.