PCEA Church offers to mediate in doctors’ strike, says private hospitals overwhelmed

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) has offered to mediate between the government and striking health workers, who have boycotted work for a month.

Speaking during the conclusion of the church’s 24th General Assembly at St. Andrews Church in Nairobi, the congregation of 865 Commissioners said that the common Kenyans who are depending on the public hospitals are suffering.

The moderator of the 24th General Assembly Rt. Rev Thegu Mutahi said that the church based health facilities are now struggling to offer services to the increasing number of Kenyans who are streaming into their centers to seek their services.

“We as the church are also health providers, and our hospitals are getting overwhelmed because of the strike. Many patients are coming to our hospitals because the government’s institutions are not functional. We are trying in our health facilities,” Rev Mutahi said

Also, both parties have been asked to immediately find a lasting solution which will see doctors resuming to their working stations without any delay.

“We are willing as the church family to mediate, if given an opportunity because it has gone for almost a month. We are very concerned about it, and we have tried to talk to the government and the health workers because it takes two to tangle that we need to find a lasting solution to it,” Rev Mutahi said.

The church has also strongly expressed its dissatisfaction in the ruling that was made in February by the Kiambu Court, that declared the popular Kikuyu brew known as muratina as legal brew.

According to High Court Judge Abigail Mshila, the traditional brew was not illicit as had been perceived previously, adding that it could be prepared as part of the traditional; culture of Kikuyu people.

According to the Church, the ruling will interfere with the ongoing war against illegal alcohol and drug abuse, as the same brew has been blamed for causing havoc in communities.

“We would wish to put our resources together with other churches such as the Roman Catholic Church, and even the Muslims to pursue the matter, and see how we will fight against such a ruling.”

On the matter of over taxation, the Church said that it expressed its appeal to President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua who attended the general assembly on Tuesday, asking them to drop some of the taxes.

“We made that appeal to them to look at the tax regime and see what needs to be revised, and what needs to be scrapped.”

The state has been told that even as it tries to look at the avenues of generating revenue to facilitate its projects, it should look at the areas where there are wastage in spending and loopholes where the government is losing money through corruption, rather than introducing new taxes.

On the matter of food security, the Church has asked the government to promote innovative agricultural practices and reduce over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture.

“We encourage the government to ensure that the seeds- preferably hybrid- are certified and fertiliser is not compromised for maximum yield. Farmers are advised to reach out to field extension officers for expert advice.”

PCEA Church has also called for restoration of stability in some parts of the country which are facing insecurity, and also to bring the church onboard in preaching peace where there is war.

“We respond to the President’s call to action to use evangelism as a tool to curb the chaos. It is our longstanding tradition to collaborate with the government and we will play our role in pacifying the disturbed areas in pursuit of the Great Commission.”

The high cases of road accidents in the country have also touched the heart of the church, which has called the government to prioritise road maintenance and enforce strict measures to ensure the roadworthiness of all vehicles.

On the same note, the National Police Service has been asked to uphold high professional standards and integrity in dispensing their duties and urge road users to act responsibly.

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