Church leaders plead over high cost of living, heavy taxation

Nairobi Archbishop Philip Anyolo gives sacraments to the faithful at Holy Family Basilica during Easter Sunday worship. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Christians thronged various places of worship for Easter Sunday where clerics called on the government to be sensitive about the plight of Kenyans reeling under high cost of living and heavy taxation.

The religious leaders also challenged authorities to come clear over fake fertiliser being distributed in various parts of the country.

Catholic Archbishop Nairobi Diocese Fr Philip Anyolo called government leaders to try and ease the pain on Kenyans due to a struggling economy. 

“I want to encourage our leaders and even ourselves to try the best we can to alleviate the poverty standards of the people of God, to alleviate the poor health to better standards by looking for solutions that will better their human development,” said Fr Anyolo.

He said Kenyans should be given an environment to grow and develop as a resurrected community with the new spirit that forms a nation.

Win-win situation

The Rev Bernard Obuya, the President of the Baptist Convention of Kenya, called on the government to be considerate of the plight of citizens, rooting for a win-win situation to end the ongoing medics’ strike.

“The government should be considerate to the citizen because right now hospitals do not have doctors because of the ongoing strike. We are asking the Ministry of Health, together with the leaders, that they may be able to come together and reason with our doctors for them to go back to work,” Obuya said.

He added: “People are suffering because of the high taxes. We are asking the government that they may be able to consider the people they call hustlers and mama mboga that they may be able to reduce the tax and the price of basic commodities to go down.”

Obuya, also wants the government to rein in corruption in the country, saying the vice is derailing the development of the country.

On his part, the Rev. James Obunde, Archbishop Church of God in East Africa, asked the government to listen to Kenyans and lower the cost of living.

“The cost of living in Kenya is very high. We cannot hide our head in the sand about the matter. It is a matter affecting most Kenyans. I would like to appeal to the government that they listen to the plight of Kenyans so that they come up with a programme to benefit the masses who are going through difficult times in their lives,” said Obunde.

Embrace dialogue

Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Antony Muheria has urged the government and striking doctors to embrace dialogue and end the strike.

The archbishop said doctors ought to consider different negotiation methods because the lives of patients were at risk.

“It is sad when we use human life as a negotiating currency. Our doctors have many reasons including their remuneration and interns that have not been posted but no life should be lost during the strike,” he said.

The cleric said that there are other ways to resolve the current doctor’s strike, calling for the government and others concerned to look for a formula to reach an amicable solution while ensuring the public is not put in danger.

The archbishop said all players in the health sector must sit and dialogue adding that the bishops of Kenya are willing to mediate and help in finding a lasting solution to the issue.

He warned the doctors not to use human life as a currency for negotiation.

Muheria appealed to the doctors to call off the strike and go back to hospitals and serve the public. 

In the North Rift region, a section of church leaders have appealed to Kenyans to live in peace and harmony.

Speaking separately during their Easter Sunday sermons, the clerics said Kenya would achieve economic progress if Kenyans unite and live in peace.

Led by Fr Geoffrey Mwanda of Sacred Heart Cathedral Eldoret, his Holy Spirit Langas counterpart Fr Peter Pinto, and the Rev Daniel Njoroge of Gracious Outreach Church, they urged Kenyans to be patient and remain prayerful.

Father Pinto urged the government to embrace dialogue with the striking doctors to reach an amicable solution to the crisis in the health sector.