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Dignify our lives Mr. President NCCK issues state of the Nation

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The NCCK has called for the Nairobi Regional Conference held at Jumuia Conference and Country  Home, Limuru, in April 2024, to transact statutory business and consider the state of the nation and our counties. Decrying the massive corruption

Guided by the theme “Dignified Livelihoods, Resilient Communities”, the Regional  Conference was inspired by the scripture recorded in Galatians 6: 9 – 10

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people.

Appreciating that doing good is both a precursor and a result of dignifying people, we now  share this message with the nation and the residents of our region, which covers Nairobi,  Kiambu, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera counties.

  1. Stop Impoverishing Our People 

This Regional Conference is deeply concerned that the citizens of Kenya are going through  a process of systematic and systemic impoverishment by the political and social governance  structures. The aspiration expressed in our National Anthem, that Plenty Be Found Within  Our Borders, is rapidly losing meaning in the lives of our people.

We call upon the national and county governments to speedily put in place measures to  address the drivers of poverty and instead recognize that prosperous citizens make better  nations. In this regard, we strongly recommend the following measures:

  1.  Transform Corruption Mindset 

Corruption is killing our nation, and the only solution is a radical transformation of our social  mindset from the hunter-gatherer mentality that pushes us to grab everything in sight while  accumulating money and properties we will never use. We must all join hands to deliberately  transform our society from a consumerism mentality to a producer mindset.

To achieve this, we challenge the Judiciary, the National Police Service, Parliament and the  Executive to end their persistent and meaningless bickering and simply allow action to be

taken against every person who engages in corruption. Let us always remember the warning  God gives us in Ecclesiastes 8: 11

When the sentence for a crime is not QUICKLY carried out, the hearts of the people  are filled with schemes to do wrong.

On its part, we encourage the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) to change  strategy and instead focus on instilling ethics and integrity in the citizens by permeating values  in the education curriculum at all levels.

At the county level, we challenge our governors to clean up their governments to remove  cartels and other corruption channels.

On our part, we commit to take the period between now and the next elections to educate our  people on integrity and values, and will integrate the same in our churches.

 (b) Dignify Livelihoods 

This Regional Conference has noted with concern that the policies being put in place by  Parliament and County Assemblies are killing dignified livelihood options of the citizens. The  Finance Acts passed by Parliament in the past 5 years, as well as the County Finance  Appropriation Bills, have systematically muzzled businesses and investments by raising  taxation to unmanageable levels. Hindrance of value addition ventures through restrictive  policies and corruption-ridden bureaucracy continues to hinder the micro-level  industrialization necessary for growth of the economy. This state of affairs is not sustainable  and requires viable remedies.

Towards this, we strongly recommend the following measures: 

One, we urge our county governments to provide favourable business environments by  consolidating and rationalizing all the fees, levies and licenses required by different agencies  and authorities. Starting and running a business should be made extremely easy, recognizing  that the higher the number of enterprises translates to higher income for the county  governments. In this regard, we advice the county governments to adopt the Huduma Center  approach where a citizen can access all the certifications and licensing required under one  roof.

Two, we continue to plead with the national and county governments to reduce the level of  taxation. The sense of helplessness and despair driven by the high taxes is having a very  high toll on the citizenry, and is killing productivity. We urge you to remember the  consequences that followed when King Rehoboam of Israel ignored the wisdom of the elders,  as we read in 1 Kings 12: 16

When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:  “What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, O Israel!  Look after your own house, O David!”. So the Israelites went home.

If you remain insensitive to the suffering of the people, your leadership will be rejected and  the nation could break apart.

Thirdly, we call upon all development partners and well wishers to support skilling and  trainings on entrepreneurship for men, women, and the youth. The only way we will be able  to create job opportunities required in our counties is by empowering more people to be job  creators.

(c) Punish Fertilizer Scammers 

We in this Regional Conference are horrified at the blatant evil of packaging of fake fertilizer  has been committed in full glare of the government, security agencies, and quality control  agencies. Even more troubling is the revelation that the National Cereals and Produce Board  (NCPB) was used to distribute the fake fertilizer to farmers.

We are genuinely shocked that the heads of NCPB, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)  and Ministry of Agriculture have not stepped aside for exposing the nation to such a tragedy.  That is the expected standard of integrity, for anyone who oversees a process in which  Kenyans are conned of their money, their food security threatened, and the fertility of their  farms damaged. We call upon President William Ruto to redeem the moral authority of the  government by ensuring speedy and judicious punishment of all involved in the scandal.

  1. Resolve Health Sector Crisis 

We in this Regional Conference are disappointed and horrified by the callous manner in which  the national and county governments are handling the persisting strike by medical workers.  Just because the officials are able to pay for their medical care is not a reason to neglect and  destroy the public healthcare system. May the warning in Proverbs 21: 13 always ring in the  ears of all the officials who are involved in this crisis:

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.

We call upon the national government to complete the devolution of health services to the  county governments, and urge the county governments to put the welfare of the people first.

3. Sensitize All on the NADCO Report 

We in this Regional Conference have taken note that National Dialogue Committee (NADCO)  completed its work and presented a report to Parliament. The report was passed, and  indications by officials is that it will be implemented as is.

However, we are concerned that the Kenyans are not aware of the contents of the said report,  or the changes that are likely to emerge from its implementation. The recent confessions by  Members of Parliament that they passed the Finance Bill 2023 without reading it imply that  even the NADCO report may have passed without scrutiny.

In this regard, we challenge Parliament, and especially the Justice and Legal Affairs  Committee, to facilitate a comprehensive nation-wide civic sensitization on the report. There  must be deliberate effort to involve Kenyans in decisions that will affect their lives, especially  in such weighty matters as those that could result in constitutional amendments.

Conclusion 

We conclude our message by recalling the words of our National Anthem:  Natujenge taifa letu, Ee ndio wajibu wetu, Kenya istahili heshima; Tuungane mikono,  Pamoja kazini, Kila siku tuwe na shukrani.

Let us all join hands to put effort on ensuring that every resident of Nairobi Region and the  entire nation can have a dignified livelihood.

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