, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 12 – The Catholic Church in Kenya on Wednesday urged the government to set up a commission to investigate the Tana clashes that have left over 100 people dead within three weeks.
Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) Chairman John Cardinal Njue told a news conference that the government should investigate the causes of the fatal clashes and make those responsible accountable.
“Why do the clashes occur every time the elections are around the corner? Is it an indication that there is more than meets the eye?” he queried.
He also asked the government to establish peace and reconciliation programmes and provide humanitarian relief to those affected. Additionally, he appealed to the government to disarm the fighting communities.
He further said the role of politicians in the violence should be scrutinised since they are occurring when Kenya is getting ready for the general election.
Cardinal Njue also begged the warring communities and their elders to hold talks to end the violence.
However, he wondered why a government with a functioning security and intelligence department would allow so many people to be killed within a short span.
“There was some kind of weakness somewhere with regard to our security. No one can convince me that people can get to that stage because there is not enough security. It is there but then the modalities are not properly exercised,” he asserted.
Machakos Diocese Bishop Martin Kivuva said apart from political interference and cultural differences between the warring communities, scramble for resources was also a major factor that was fuelling the clashes.
Meanwhile, the church also expressed concern over the striking teachers and appealed to them together with the government to realise that students in public schools were being subjected to unconstitutional treatment. He urged them to dialogue and end the strike.
Cardinal Njue further asked doctors who announced that they would down their tools on Thursday to think of the suffering of Kenyans who will be seeking for treatment.
“We are making a very passionate appeal to our doctors. Please our dear doctors, yours is not just a profession, yours is a vocation, please let no one die because you are on strike,” he pleaded.