End Executive Impunity to Rescue Kenya
February 2, 2024
End Executive Impunity to Rescue Kenya
Pastoral Letter to His Excellency President Dr William Ruto
Isaiah 1: 18
Come now, let us reason together…
The Programmes Committee of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has held a meeting here at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru, to reflect on the state of the nation. The Programmes Committee was joined by the Chairpersons of the NCCK County Coordinating Committees and the Regional Committees.
This meeting took note of the findings of a survey conducted across the country which indicated that 71% rated the performance of the government at Below Average, and 74% indicated that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
This is a very worrying state of affairs, and there is an urgent need for remedial action.
Having considered the guidance of God given in Proverbs 27: 5 – Better an open rebuke than hidden love – we humbly request to share the following message with you.
1. Kenyans Are Suffering, Please Listen to Their Cries
The people of Kenya, whom you committed to serve and protect, are in great pain. The Constitution of Kenya provides in Article 129 (2) that “Executive authority shall be exercised in a manner compatible with the principle of service to the people of Kenya, for their well-being and benefit”.
We therefore plead with you, Your Excellency, to listen to the cries of Kenyans. The level of stress and mental anguish has risen to unmanageable levels, and if the situation is not resolved, the damage to the individuals and the nation will be unredeemable. Your Excellency, kindly take to heart the wisdom of Proverbs 21: 13, which tells us that “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered”.
In this regard, Your Excellency, we urge you to reach out to the people of Kenya and have dialogue with them. Just as you went across the country explaining your vision and convincing Kenyans to vote for you, now engage them to reach agreement on how the vision is to be actualized. The hustlers and Mama Mbogas who believed the vision you shared are willing to walk the journey with you, do not isolate yourself from them.
2. Uphold the Constitution of Kenya and Rule of Law
We commend you for your continued public commitments to uphold the Constitution of Kenya in all your work. It is in this context that we request you to lead the government in adhering to the Constitution and Laws of Kenya.
We are particularly alarmed, Your Excellency, at the expanding osmotic relationship between the three arms of government. In the Constitution of Kenya, the Executive, the Legislature and Judiciary were created separately to provide checks and balances to ensure justice. However, the Executive is progressively and visibly tearing down these boundaries resulting in loss of confidence in the institutions of governance.
Your Excellency, we plead that you bring to an end the public attacks on the Judiciary. Where there is suspicion of corruption against any judge, let the proper procedure be followed to have them investigated and necessary action taken.
In the same breath, Your Excellency, we urge that the Legislature be let free to hold the Executive accountable as is provided for in the Constitution.
3. Cut Down the Cost of Living
The biggest concern of the people of Kenya is the high cost of living. The soaring cost of commodities coupled with dwindling expendable income, has pushed more Kenyans below the poverty line. The collapse of businesses, both big and small, has exponentially raised unemployment levels in the country. This situation, Your Excellency, is unsustainable regardless of any macro-level economic measures being put in place. Indeed the cry of the people of Kenya is akin to that of the people of Israel that is recorded in Nehemiah 5: 3 – 4
Others were saying, ‘We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine’. Still others were saying, ‘We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards’.
To remedy this situation, we strongly recommend that you provide reprieve for the people by lowering taxes and freezing the increment of statutory deductions for health and retirement insurances. Instead, we urge for measures to promote growth of export-oriented businesses. This will earn the nation the much-needed foreign exchange and also increase tax income without unnecessarily aggravating the people.
Further to this, Your Excellency, we call for an immediate stop of the exercise where staff of the Kenya Revenue Authority are visiting homes of the people to count their livestock and other subsistence properties. These measures are oppressive and will worsen the already weak food security of our people.
4. Audit the National Debt
Different reports including the one by the Auditor General have raised concerns on the amount of loan funds received in the country and how the money was used. There are also publicly made claims that some of the loan repayment funds drawn from the Exchequer actually end up in private hands.
We now plead that you hear the cry of Kenyans and institute an independent audit of Kenya’s public debt. It is a point of justice to let Kenyans know what they are paying for, and to facilitate legal action against any persons who have been involved in any irregular processes.
5. Establish a National Economic and Social Council
Kenya as a nation requires a reset, to borrow a phrase from the world of technology. There is a need to restructure the economic and social setup of the nation to revive the vision that we often pray about in the National Anthem:
O God of all creation, bless this our land and nation, justice be our shield and defender,
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty, plenty be found within our borders
We strongly recommend that you consider establishing an Economic and Social Council to advice on the current economic impasse. The terms of the team will enable them to take into consideration the social context with a goal of improving the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans. The Bible in Proverbs 19: 20 has prudent guidance for all, when it says: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”
6. Safeguard the Sovereignty and Future of Kenyans
We call upon you to halt the earlier announced plan to privatize government institutions that touch on the food security, education, health and social wellbeing of the people of Kenya. These are core tenets that define the nation, and surrendering these key institutions to private hands will subject Kenyans to untold servitude and suffering. It is prudent to learn from nations that privatized food security who have since then been held at ransom by multinational corporations. Your Excellency, we plead that you don’t turn Kenyans into chattels for profiteers.
7. Safeguard the Future of our Learners
Recognizing the centrality of education in shaping the nation, we together with all Kenyans are deeply concerned about the results of the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations. The disparities that were noted on the results transmitted, coupled with the mass failure of the learners, are adverse to the future of our nation.
We appeal that you facilitate the setting up of an independent committee to enquire into the marking of the examinations to ensure that a similar situation is never repeated.
In conclusion, Your Excellency, we join you in condoling the families that lost their loved ones in the unfortunate fire incident at Embakassi last night. We have taken time to pray for those who were affected, and have mobilized our member churches to offer all the help they can so that they recover.
Allow us, Your Excellency, to conclude with the word of God recorded in Micah 6: 8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
We assure you of our continuous prayers that God will grant you wisdom, knowledge and understanding as you lead his people.
Signed on this 2nd day of February 2024 at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru
Bishop Dr John Okinda
NCCK Vice Chairman
Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui