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NCCK Aide Memoire to President Ruto

AIDE MEMOIR FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF KENYA DURING A MEETING WITH HIS EXCELLENCY DR WILLIAM RUTO, CGH, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF KENYA DEFENCE FORCES, ON JUNE 26, 2024 WITH REGARD TO STATE OF THE NATION

Your Excellency,

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) is deeply concerned about the deteriorating social and security state of the nation in the context of the spirited discourse on the Finance Bill 2024 as well as the 2024/2025 National Budget Estimates. We are honoured, Your Excellency, to share with you the following thoughts, being inspired by the scripture recorded in Proverbs 29: 14

If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.

1.         Review of Context

Your Excellency,

Over the last two months, Kenyans across the country have actively and vehemently discussed the Finance Bill 2024. The prevailing recommendation we have received in all the counties was for the Members of Parliament to reject the Finance Bill 2024 so that it is revised to address the taxation concerns of the people.

The peaceful picketing by Kenyans, especially the youth, that has been witnessed over the last two weeks is a component of this robust engagement.

We are therefore greatly saddened and shocked by the deaths and violence witnessed yesterday. It in this regard that we make the following recommendations.

2.         Withdraw the Finance Bill 2024

Your Excellency,

We urge you to hear the cries and pleas of Kenyans and withdraw the Finance Bill 2024. Do not sign it into law. Instead, have it reverted back to Parliament so that it is revised to reflect the wishes of the people of Kenya. This re-writing should be accompanied by a consequent review of the 2024/25 National Budget Estimates to align it to the fiscal reality of the nation. We should have a Finance Act and National Budget that are based on the principle of living within our means.

We find it heartless, insensitive and disdainful for the Members of Parliament to ignore the will of the people by passing the Finance Bill 2024. By this action, Parliament erased its legitimacy in the eyes of the voters.

We encourage your government to listen to the people and align the Finance Bill to the will of the people so that it inspires hope and energizes productivity, and dignifies livelihoods.

3.         Ensure No Further Bloodshed

Your Excellency,

The killing of dozens of peacefully picketing Kenyans by the police is totally unacceptable. It must never be repeated.

Recognizing the constitutional right of Kenyans to peacefully demonstrate and present memoranda to public officials, we urge you to:

  1. Instruct the police to cease killing and physically harming demonstrators
  2. Instruct the police to cease the emerging trend of abductions, clandestine arrests and forced disappearances of Kenyans who voice their opinions on national matters
  3. Instruct the security agencies to immediately release all the persons who have been abducted or otherwise arrested
  4. Rescind the Kenya Gazette as well as resolution of National Assembly deploying the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in the country. The country is not in an insurrection or civil war, and deployment of the military only goes to militarize civilian affairs.

4.         Reassure and Unite the Nation

Your Excellency,

The President is the symbol of national unity, and it is in your hands to reassure, calm and unite Kenyans at all times. We appeal to you to publicly recognize and condole with the hundreds of Kenyans who are mourning the deaths of their loved ones, and comfort the hundreds more are nursing injuries. It is important for you to apologize on behalf of the security agencies for the atrocities visited upon the people.

It is our humble recommendation that the government commits to waive the costs of treatment for all those injured by the police yesterday.

5.         Convene a National Conference on National Finance and Governance

Your Excellency,

To move the nation forward and build national synergy, hope and enthusiastic engagement of all Kenyans in the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda, we strongly recommend that you convene a National Economic and Social Conference. The Conference should bring together stakeholders from all sectors and counties, with a goal of determining the economic destiny of Kenya.

Conclusion

Once again, Your Excellency, we thank you for this opportunity to meet with you. We assure you of our support and prayers. It is our conviction that these recommendations will enable all Kenyans to each play their part in bringing the current crisis to an end and stop any further bloodshed, knowing that the Bible has warned against shedding of blood in any nation, as we read in Numbers 35: 33 – “Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it”.

May God Bless you.

Signed on this 26th day of June 2024 at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru.

Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki

Chairman

Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui

General Secretary

July 2024
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