The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops is now pleading for a peaceful and meaningful engagement in the face of violence that greeted the passage of contentious Finance Bill 2024.

The bishops say such an engagement between the leaders and the citizens is necessary given the situation in the country and most importantly for the good of the nation.

“The current situation we are witnessing calls us to address the nation and especially our dear young people and speak to our leadership,” the Bishops said in a press conference

According to the Bishops, events that characterized Tuesday’s countrywide protests show that this is a moment of reflection and listening. The clergy argue that the situation might spiral out of hand if Kenyans don’t engage in matters currently deemed pertinent.

“We are saddened that what started as lawful protests has degenerated into violent conflicts. This was not the initial aim of the Gen Z protests. We honestly appeal not to shoot the protesters, and we also appeal to the young people to remain peaceful,” they said in a joint statement read by KCCB President Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba

“We condole with all those who have been shorty dead and others who have been injured and plead for calm. No one should lose a life,” they added

They further indicated that they understood why Gen Z have taken to the streets to express their displeasure noting that the young generation is alive to the impact punitive taxes have in their own lives.

“The government needs to face the plain truth that families are immensely suffering. Young people have reached a point of taking it upon themselves to express discontent. The government must listen to the pain of its citizens caused by the high cost of living. Ignoring them will only escalate tensions in the country and draw young people and citizenry into despair,” they said

“We plead with the president that he listen to the voices of so many and respond concretely with the current situation triggered by the Finance Bill,” they said

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