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Lower the cost of living, Catholic bishops tell State

Nairobi Catholic Archbishop Philip Anyolo is fed on a cake by a worshiper at Consolata Catholic Shrines during the Church's Family Feast Day on Sunday, June 26, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The Catholic church has asked politicians to stop making false promises, and instead deal with the high cost of living that has left Kenyans suffering.

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) accused some politicians of taking advantage of the economic crunch to exploit poor Kenyans.

Speaking yesterday during a church service at Consolata Shrines, Nairobi Archbishop Philip Anyolo, noted that the cost of living is increasingly becoming unbearable for families with meagre financial resources.

“It is surprising that while drought and hunger loom in our borders and we are experiencing an increase in the price of the most basic food items, the government is silent about it. It is sad,” said Anyolo, who read the KCCB statement.

The Archbishop regretted that the current economic crisis has become a finger-pointing match among politicians seeking elective positions, who are providing no solutions.

“During elections, politicians want to make us believe life will start after the elections and things will suddenly become better. We are fed with this false and empty hope that never comes to reality,” said Anyolo.

The appeal by the catholic church comes when the biting drought in the northern frontier has affected thousands of residents as well as livestock.

“Many Kenyans are hungry; the cost of living is rising. Inflation is worsening. We need urgent intervention from the county and national government,” noted the Archbishop.

He further challenged politicians seeking elective seats to inform Kenyans how they intend to lower the cost of living.

“We believe that the outgoing leaders could have done much more to mitigate the effects of the perennial drought that have affected our country,” said Anyolo.

According to the Archbishop, the economic crisis has been worsened by the culture of ‘handouts’ that is rife during the campaign season.

“We run the risk of electing leaders who do not care about the well-being of the poor and destitute. They need to promise us that they will not increase their salaries once they are elected to office,” stated Anyolo.

The clergy urged Kenyans to explore more innovative and entrepreneurial avenues to increase their revenue streams and not to depend on handouts.

The church also took issue with the country’s international debt, which they said, has reached alarming levels amid massive corruption running down public institutions.

“Unfortunately, a lot of money has gone to waste due to corruption. Business in the informal sector depends on good governance, which is lacking,” said Anyolo.

The Archbishop said the church has set aside a team to conduct civic education on elections in the churches and at the community level to ensure a peaceful August election.