Help build bridges of unity, Uhuru urges religious leaders

Chairman of the Interfaith Council on Covid-19 Archbishop Anthony Muheria who led a delegation that visited President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • He said it is only through the active participation of all Kenyans that the country will be defeat challenges such as corruption.
  • He encouraged them to speak consistently and openly in condemnation of the vices slowing down Kenya's progress.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged religious leaders to be shepherds of building bridges of unity and not to allow the nation to remain in obsession of divisive politics.

The Head of State called upon religious leaders to continue feeding Kenyans with messages of hope, to remain non-partisan for the wellness of the country.

“I call upon the church to be the voice of reason and we need you, as our religious leaders, to be non-partisan, and persons who help heal divides. I know the church remains above politics.

"But we all have a duty to help our people to know that we cannot be a nation whose sole obsession is politics – all year, every year, year in year out,” said the President at State House, Nairobi on Friday when he met the religious leaders.

The President said it is only through the active participation of all Kenyans, including religious leaders, that the country will be defeat challenges such as corruption that are a hindrance to Kenya's development.

“Speak boldly against all the vices that are holding our nation back. Our job of building this nation is a shared responsibility; we are serving the same people. We deliver on the physical wellness of all the citizens as you nourish their souls and spirit," the head of State said.

Anti-corruption fight

He added, "The leadership of the church in the anti-corruption fight is highly appreciated. But, there is still room for more action from the church, it is an all of society fight, not one for the government alone".

During the meeting with the religious leaders, President Kenyatta encouraged them to speak consistently and openly in condemnation of the vices slowing down Kenya's progress.

He urged them to be part of his campaign of building "bridges of unity between brothers and sisters, within families and communities" and said he looks forward to more meetings with the leaders who pledged their continued support for the President's agenda to unite and develop the country.

The religious leaders, who were led by Archbishop Anthony Muheria, the chairman of the Interfaith Council on Covid-19, shared their memorandum with the head of State in which they highlighted issues that they wish his government to address.

Key among them were corruption and accountability, restoring dignity in government institutions, working towards national accord and strengthening institutions, repairing the moral and social fabric of the nation, reopening of congregational worship and redemption of the economy.

They also made proposals on how to address some of the challenges facing the country such as youth unemployment, drug abuse and gender-based violence.

“We the religious leaders are committed to support your excellency to truly renew and restore the dignity and nobility of all these institutions of governance in order to effectively address the pressing concerns of all Kenyans,” said their memorandum.

National prayers

Meanwhile, President Kenyatta and the religious leaders agreed to host national prayers on Saturday, October 10, 2020 to, among other national issues, pray for the country's battle with Covid-19.

The President assured the leaders that the government will continue partnering with religious institutions in the delivery of public services such as education and healthcare.

The President and the religious leaders also discussed post-Covid-19 economic recovery and the Big Four agenda.

The meeting was also attended by Cabinet secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Ukur Yatani (National Treasury) and Prof George Magoha (Education).

Also present were Attorney-General Paul Kihara Kariuki and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, among other senior government officials.