, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Catholic Bishops have called on the government to use decision by the International Criminal Court to terminate charges against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang to compensate post-poll violence and unite the country.
A statement read by Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Chairman Bishop Philip Anyolo said the country must not lose sight of the victims and families of the over 1,100 people who were killed in the chaos and up to 600,000 displaced.
The KCCB noted that termination of the case will come as a blow to the victims of the violence and their families, who want to know the truth behind what happened, who was responsible and who to claim compensation from.
“As Catholic Bishops, we see the ruling not as an outcome of winner and losers. This is an opportunity for Kenya to sincerely demonstrate its commitment of never again to take the county back to the dark days of 2007/2008; to be more conscious of the plight of the victims, to invest more in building true reconciliation and work towards a truly united nation. It must never be forgotten that many people lost their lives.”
Eldoret Catholic Bishop Cornelius Korir said they were still hopeful that the victims could get justice, even though it looks like that light is dwindling.
“It’s historical with Kenya no one is ever held responsible for the violence; back from the death of late JM Kariuki, Father Kaiser and other murders… we are always left with more questions than answers. But we can’t deny the victims justice look,” said Bishop Korir who was among clergy who provided safe refuge to numerous IDPs as they escaped the violence that rocked north Rift Valley.
The Catholic Church has further said that it is concerned by the raising cases of political incitement and has declared that it will not allow politicians to use its platforms as “campaign venues to make political rhetoric, inflammatory statements, foul language or as a hideout for looted funds and corrupt monies.”
“We the Catholic Bishops wish to raise our voices to our political leaders and say, this must stop. Let’s stop bleeding our country to death. As your shepherds we are appealing to the conscience of all our leaders to realise this is our country, if it sinks we sink together.”
The Bishops expressed concern over the cases of runaway corruption and demanded that all those who have been adversely mentioned to step aside from office to facilitate investigations.
“The daily revelations and exposure of corrupt deals and stealing of money from public coffers by top government officials paints a picture of how low we have sunk as a country. We can’t give up. Now is the time to rise and face this malignant disease with all the weapons we have,” KCCB Vice-Chairman Rt. Rev John Oballa Owaa said.