The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has now called for immediate stoppage of ongoing bi-weekly anti-government protests by the opposition and at the same time demanded the president William Ruto’s administration to halt weekly government prayer meetings-cum political arenas disguised as thanksgiving services.
Through a quick dispatch to newsrooms today, KCCB chairman Martin Musonde said the demonstrations are causing mayhem and unrest in the nation putting the lives of many Kenyans at risk.
He further argued that a number of heightened political wrangles have been witnessed in the prayer meetings frequented by government officials, which questions the true intentions behind them.
Yesterday, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua led a host of Cabinet Secretaries and other senior government officials and government allied politicians to an interdenominational thanksgiving service organized by 40 churches drawn from the Western and Rift Valley regions in Malava, Kakamega County.
“Indeed, there will be no goodwill in pursuing a violent path or a path of revenge by using such gatherings.” Part of a statement by the Catholic Bishops read in part.
Reverend Musonde added that it is appalling to see both government and opposition remaining tight-lipped on the matter yet there has been a huge loss of lives and property the past just two weeks – when the demonstrations began.
He, therefore, called for a truce between President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga, urging them to seize the blame game and prioritize the interests of the nation and its citizens.
“We urge all our leaders, specifically our President and Hon. Raila Odinga, and all their advisors, that for the love we have for our country, and for the love and respect of those who have suffered, lost lives, and for the love of God whose places of worship have been desecrated, to stop for a moment, from pushing the conflict any further. This conflict is being driven by the political class. It will never favour the common man,” he said.
Musonde also urged police officers to execute their mandate peacefully and without coercion, adding that they should apprehend those involved in causing chaos in the previous protests.
He likewise urged Kenyans to shun leaders who “will drive us into the pit of hatred and violence” urging them to carefully interrogate a leader’s request before heeding it.
“Dear Kenyans, we must decide now or face the consequences of selfish political interests! Our political class seems empty of ideas to offer to their political parties and groupings.”
The opposition commenced the protests on March 20 to force government to address the high cost of living, and have since been occurring on a weekly basis on Mondays and Thursdays.
Violent battles between protesters and police have been witnessed throughout the demonstrations which have resulted to extreme destruction of public and private property, loss of lives and harsh political wrangles between the opposition and government.
Raila maintains that the protests shall continue until the government meets their demands.
Yesterday, Gachagua cautioned protesters against destruction of property saying the government will not spare any individual perpetrating violence during the anti-government protests.
“I want to caution those young men who have been taking advantage of the violence unleashed by Raila to loot property that Monday is their last day to do so. The laws of this country are clear, this is no longer demonstrations, this is post-election violence,” said Gachagua
“Monday the government of the republic of Kenya will assert its authority in protecting life and property and upholding the rule of law. It is not going to be business as usual,” he added