What you need to know:
- The religious leaders said that since the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was declared illegal by the High Court, it is impossible to hold a referendum in August.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has recommended that the 2022 General Election be held under the current Constitution.
"The elections should proceed as provided for in the Constitution and should not be postponed to a later date," KCCB said in a statement following a meeting at the Subukia Shrine in Nakuru County on Friday.
The religious leaders said that since the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was declared illegal by the High Court, it is impossible to hold a referendum in August.
"As the BBI goes through the court process, it might not be possible to hold the referendum before August. Therefore, we propose that to ensure a democratic inclusive process based on law and dialogue, the amendments should be addressed after the 2022 General Election," said the statement read by Archbishop Martin Kivuva of the Mombasa Archdiocese, who was elected KCCB’s new chair at the meeting.
“With courage and hope we all stand."
The Bishops suggested that Kenyans pursue reforms through Parliament following the court ruling on the BBI.
They also called for the strengthening of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to prevent hitches in the 2022 election.
They also urged an amicable solution to the stalemate that has delayed the appointment of 41 judges.
"The delay is creating tension between the Judiciary and Executive and is affecting the delivery of justice by resulting into a backlog of cases. It may cripple the operations of the court and the entire Judiciary," Rev Kivuva said.
They lauded Court of Appeal Judge Marth Koome’s appointment as Kenya’s first female Chief Justice, saying "it is our profound hope the the Judiciary will discharge its role as per the Constitution and with impartiality”.
On the deteriorating security in the country, the bishops asked the government to beef up security in affected areas to enable Kenyans to carry on with their routines.
"The insecurity is worrying as thousands have been displaced for fear of attack and the government should provide them with security."
They also urged the government to assist the more than 25,000 people displaced by floods with relief food and other kinds of humanitarian assistance.
The bishops also raised concern on food security in some parts of the country as millions are facing drought, saying it could lead to a humanitarian crisis.
They further urged the political class to respect places of worship and not turn them into political arenas.
On the Covid-19 pandemic, the religious leaders urged the public to observe guidelines given by the Ministry of Health in order to contain the disease.
They also asked the government to ensure the safety of vaccines procured from abroad saying: “The procurement of vaccines should be transparent as the country cannot afford another round of embezzlement of resources intended for containing Covid-19."
They also called on the government to resolve the stalemate that has delayed the release of ARVs saying many HIV/Aids patients are suffering due to the standoff between the government and the US.