AFRICA/KENYA - the Bishops: "We are concerned about the strong impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the poor"

Wednesday, 18 November 2020 bishops   coronavirus  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We are very much concerned about the financial burdens that are facing all of us, especially the poor who cannot afford the medical bills for those who are sick and funeral costs for those who have died" say the Bishops of Kenya in the statement published end of their Plenary Assembly. Entitled "A call to build a united, healed and reconciled nation", the document sent to Fides, expresses the concerns of the local Episcopal Conference on the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the Country.
"We note with great concern the surge in the number of people infected by the coronavirus and the many lives we are losing daily", write the Bishops, who appeal to the generosity of Kenyans to help those in economic and psychological difficulties. "We appeal to the private hospitals not to raise the prices of their services for those seeking assistance".
The Bishops ask themselves whether it is appropriate to suspend the constitutional revision process in light of the pandemic emergency. The government has in fact published the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, an initiative to reform the Kenyan constitution and institutions. Hit by the pandemic, "does the country have the necessary funds to carry out a referendum before 2022, 18 months before the general elections, a process that also requires money?" ask the Bishops. "Can the country afford to spend its very limited resources in a referendum when there is a struggle in the health and education sectors to provide for urgently needed support due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic?"
The Bishops suggest discussing those reforms recommended by the BBI report in Parliament that require legislative and administrative amendments for their implementation, separating them from those that require constitutional reforms to be submitted to a popular referendum, "so as not to reject the good ideas of the report". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 18/11/2020)