Church leaders react to new Finance Bill revisions

Cross symbol embroidered on linen at Taita-Taveta ACK Diocese. [File, Standard]

Despite the government's decision to relax some of the contentious taxes in the Finance Bill 2024, debate has continued among religious leaders.

Bishop Julius Katoi Kalu of the ACK, Mombasa Diocese, told The Standard that the government's move to reduce some of the punitive taxes demonstrated the power of the people. 

"It’s clear that the people spoke with one voice, a voice that could not be ignored. The government should not force things down people’s throats," stated Bishop Kalu.

He added, "This is a government that Kenyans willingly voted for based on their promises. Kenyans, therefore, have a right to oppose the government if they disagree with the decisions being made on their behalf."

Pastor Peter Nyagah of Nairobi Central SDA Church commended the government for listening to the people's cries.

"One can’t build a nation by overtaxing its citizens. Removing those taxes allows Kenyans to work, take care of their families, and stay motivated. That's what we need to build this nation," observed Pastor Nyagah.

"It’s like trying to milk a cow that you have starved all day. It is impossible for that cow to continue giving you milk," he noted.

Pastor Nyagah also appealed to Kenyans to remain hopeful and subject their government to earnest prayers. "Our voice as Kenyans matters a lot. Let us keep talking and steadfastly pray for our leaders," he stated.

Bishop Simon Lugonzo of Blessed Assembly Church in Kisii urged caution, saying it was too early for Kenyans to celebrate.

"We appreciate that they reconsidered some of these punitive taxes; however, Kenyans must stay vigilant lest other measures are reintroduced silently," said Bishop Lugonzo. "We need to stay alert and keep them in check."

Bishop Lugonzo also called for reason and sobriety in drafting future Finance Bills.