Church urges State to listen to youth, reconsider Finance Bill

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) chairman Archbishop Maurice Muhatia. [File, Standard]

The church has urged the Government to listen to the young people’s concerns, saying they are critical stakeholders and constitute the majority in the country.

The plea was made during Sunday service across the country amid calls for respect and keeping politics out of church.

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) chairman, Archbishop Maurice Muhatia noted that government should not be in denial over the protests by Gen Z.

“The Catholic Church understands very well why the young people are on the streets and invite the government to reflect on this matter seriously and not be in denial. The streets are not the best places for our young people, the most energetic of society, to be… that is not the place we want them to be,” said Muhatia during the Sunday mass.

He added, “These concerns about the Finance Bill are not only by Gen Z but also other Kenyans. KCCB has already spoken and addressed issues of the Bill. We also have very serious concerns about the Bill and we think it should not pass in its current state; adjustments need to be made for the good of the country,” Muhatia stated.

The country, he said, is bleeding. "It is crying that taxation is getting overboard and needs to be staggered for the interest of the whole country. It must be rationalised,” he said.

Separately, Head of Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit said the Gen Z are not enemies of the country and should be listened to.

“To our young generation, the church is yours, the nation is yours and your families are our families and we thank you for being our children but we also have a nation, which belongs to all of us. Let us all share by listening to one another and we want to listen to you,” said Ole Sapit, during a service in Nyahururu, also attended by President William Ruto and his Deputy, Rigathi Gachagua.

Elsewhere, Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Moderator Rev Thegu Mutahi said the government must understand the situation the country finds itself in with people lacking resources and many young people out of gainful employment.

“Government must balance between collecting revenue and taking care of our young people who are not gainfully engaged. As a church, we are saying that this Finance Bill needs to be relooked,” said Mutahi.

He urged government to revise its expenditure and reduce spending especially on foreign trips