Catholic bishops urge government to address cost of living, new ID fees

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Chairperson Most Rev. Martin Kivuva Musonde (center) flanked by other Bishops in Nakuru. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops now wants the government to address issues on cost of living corruption, and the introduction of new fees on national Identification cards and passports. 

KCCB chairperson Most.Rev Martin Kivuva on Friday, November 10 said that the Government should find ways to address the high cost of living.

He called on relevant stakeholders to come in and remedy the situation that has raised the poverty levels in the country, limiting opportunities for personal and societal growth.

“We plead for a wider consultation and discussions among government and other stakeholders, to review and study ways we can address and mitigate the effects of the high cost of living,” said Bishop Kivuva.

He reiterated that the high cost of living has drastically affected low-income earners in the country.

Kivuva noted that the high cost of living has led to growing stress, strained relationships, and increased tensions within Kenyan households.

He said the State has made it difficult for citizens to access quality education, healthcare, and wellbeing. 

“This economic stagnation further exacerbates the unemployment problem, creating a vicious cycle of financial hardship for the population,” he added.

The KCCB chairperson has suggested that citizens divert to agriculture and explore other means to earn a living.

Nyeri archbishop Anthony Muheria on his part called on the government to review the laws on taxation.

“We appeal yet again to the Government to find a reasonable balance between the desired income for the Government and the minimum protection of the basic needs of the very ordinary Kenyan and respect to their dignity,” Muheria said.

Bishop Muheria noted that the over-taxation has affected businesses and the economy at large.

Additionally, he raised concern about the recently introduced fees for acquiring digital identification cards, suggesting that there should be public participation before it is implemented, terming it a violation of human rights.

“We are therefore raising our concern that a process that involves any insertion of microchips or other digital elements, especially to newborns, is unacceptable because this would compromise the dignity of the recipients," he said.

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