The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has called upon Kenyans to desist from the tendency of turning calamities into opportunities for self-enrichment and exploiting the needs others.
Speaking on behalf of the Bishops, Rt. Rev James Maria Wainaina of Murang’a Catholic Diocese said it was wrong for people to use calamities such as Covid-19 to engage in corruption deals, which he condemned and termed as abhorrent.
The Bishop who made the remarks Sunday, while celebrating Sunday Mass at Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi which was attended by the Head of the Catholic Church in Kenya Cardinal John Njue, said Kenyans should always remind themselves of the dire need of sharing the country’s dwindling resources and abilities in a just and equitable manner.
“There is life to be lived together beyond Covid-19. This is not the time to seek to make unreasonably high profits, but to make sacrifices for the benefit of others, we should bear each other’s burdens,” said Bishop Wainaina who is also the Chairman of KCCB-Council for Economic Affairs.
He said landlords must be ready to negotiate and agree on a way forward with their tenants, the business people with their customers, service providers with the beneficiaries of their services and employers with their employees, saying that this honest and candid engagement between players will help to accommodate and benefit one another.
The bishops, who lauded the government led by President Uhuru Kenyatta for unveiling the Sh 56 billion economic stimulus package, also urged the government to expeditiously pay all the genuine suppliers and service providers their dues to prevent essential service and supplies from failing.
“We appeal for the urgent settling of money owed by the National Hospital Insurance Fund to Faith-based health facilities so that they can continue rendering their much needed services,” said Bishop Wainaina.
The cleric also asked the government to consider waiving taxes on items such as face masks, personal protective equipment’s, hand sanitizers and hand washing soaps, cleaning detergents, ambulances and other hospital consumables related to Covid-19 as they are the basic commodities used on a daily basis.
Taxes that increase commodity prices should also be avoided, he added.
Concerning the preventive measure on Covid-19, the prelate urged Kenyans to strictly adhere to the stipulated guidelines by staying at home and learning the new normal since the pandemic is not going away any time soon.
Bishop Wainaina said for the country to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic, Kenyans must remain united at all levels singling out the family, social life among all religious faiths and political leadership, noting that the unity will help the country to quickly unleash the resilience to rebuild the nation’s economy and social life.
He said the Catholic Bishops are greatly concerned about the reports of increased violence in families, domestic violence and gender based violence, stressing that the vices were unacceptable and instead urged families to embrace decency, peace and harmony.
“Problems due to Covid-19 must not bring stress among us, but a cause to reason together and with understanding make our families the last fortress against Covid-19,”stressed the Bishop.
In his remarks, Cardinal Njue called on the faithful to pray for families, the country, the entire and the world, as well as the country’s leaders that they may work for the entire good of the citizenry and be guided by the spirit of God’s wisdom.
“May the Lord strengthen those who are suffering especially the sick and those in distresses related to Covid19 pandemic,” said Cardinal Njue.