Sapit urges balance between inclusivity, wage bill worries

Monday, January 27th, 2020 00:26 | By
Head of the Anglican Church in Kenya Jackson ole Sapit and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby after a service at ACK St Stephen’s Jogoo Road, yesterday. Photo/PD/TABITHA MBATIA

Bernard Gitau and David Musundi @benagitau

The quest for an expanded Executive should strike a balance between the need for inclusivity and managing the country’s wage bill, head of the Anglican Church Jackson ole Sapit has said.

 Ole Sapit indicated that the Building Bridges Initiative’s (BBI) main agenda has been regional balancing, which will result in expansion of the system of governance.

 “The BBI is struggling to say we want to open up the space for every community to be on the decision making table. We should ask ourselves: How could we do it in a cheaper way?” he posed. 

The cleric was speaking after attending a church service at Saint Stephen’s ACK Church, Jogoo Road, where he hosted Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

 “We have been crying even in the current arrangement that the wage bill of this country is way above our expectations. Let us look at an arrangement which is going to be affordable for Kenyans,” he said. 

He cautioned that if the BBI would create tiers to increase the wage bill, the situation would be hard for Kenyans to bear.

Address wage bill

 The BBI report, launched at the Bomas of Kenya, proposes an Executive that has the President, Deputy President, Prime Minister, and Cabinet Ministers appointed from among MPs and outside Parliament. 

“But let us look at the BBI in a sober manner, appreciate the good things it might come with. We do not see us as one nation but as many nations according to our tribal affiliations, we need a solution,” he said.

 Sapit called for salary review for public servants to address the bloated wage bill.

 “Kenya also needs to relook the whole issue of how we pay our public servants because we are way above other nations… let us reduce salaries where possible,” he said.

 He also called upon politicians to be tolerant and hold divergent views with dignity.

 “We are urging every Kenyan to read and understand the BBI report. It should not be taken over by politicians to make it a political tool,” he said.

 Archbishop  Welby termed BBI as a domestic Kenyan political and social project and foreigners should not control it. 


“What I pray for Kenya is for integrity and transparency in your politics and you can realise the possibility, Kenya being a model for freedom of expression, democracy and human dignity,” he said. 

The archbishop said he met with Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, among other political leaders. 

“The key things we discussed were justice and human dignity particularly for the poor, middle class,” he said.

 “We also addressed the tragedy of 2007 post-election violence and the difficulties Kenya faced in 2017 due to contested presidential election and how they should not happen again,” he said.

Sapit spoke even as some Kenyans took to social media to rebuke leaders calling for creation of more positions in BBI.

Majority of leaders attending the BBI Mombasa rally on Saturday pushed for an expanded executive.

Meanwhile, The Ecumenical Church of Christ in Kenya Archbishop Dr Godfery Siundu has asked Christian faithful to pray for peace even as the clamour for the support of the BBI report gains momentum.

Siundu said Kenyans should be given the report to read for themselves and take a stand, saying it contains some good  recommendations that could spur development and end impunity.

Speaking in Kitale in Trans Nzoia county yesterday,  Siundu praised the political class for the maturity displayed during the BBI meeting at the Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa, adding that the BBI will steer the country on the right  path to reconciliation and lasting peace.

“For example, the BBI contains recommendations on how to strengthen devolution which will in turn help achieve development across the country,” he said.

The cleric said the initiative would strengthen devolution through more resource allocation to the devolved units.

Siundu, however, cautioned some sections of the political class against issuing inflammatory statements, saying such leaders should in future not be elected.

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