End of an era as fiery archbishop exits altar after 50-year service
SEE ALSO :Obado and Ruto throw jab at RailaKisumu the Archdiocese Vicar General, Fr Moses Omollo described Okoth as a hardworking man who brought a lot of spiritual development in the church. “He was a no-nonsense man with a strong personality but in his way, he brought joy to many,” said Omollo. Closer to people He said the focused clergyman spent all the money he received on development projects. “We are grateful for him and we wish him a joyful retirement, his spirit was to bring joy God’s word closer to the people,” said Fr Omollo. Father Karoli Achok of Nyawita Parish said Okoth has accomplished his core mandate of bringing Christ to the people. “He disciplined us and showed us the right directions, walked with us and encouraged us all along,” said Fr Achok. Records from the church and which were confirmed by Fr Omollo, show that Archbishop Okoth helped found a number of organisations which include, Kolping Kenya, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Pacis Insurance Company, Bondo Teachers Training College, Maseno University, Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology (RIAT), MEDS and Centenary House. Fr Omollo said Archbishop Okoth was also the inspiration behind the Jubilee Mall in Karen, Uzima University colleges, Monica Hospital and ADOK Timo Microfinance in Kisumu. He is credited with scaling up the number of parishes in the archdiocese from 14 to 57. Now, the archdiocese has about 400 sponsored primary schools, 200 secondary schools, 22 health centres among many other notable projects.
SEE ALSO :The Uhuru-Raila 'secret' visits to ChinaColourful career But it has not been a bed of roses for the archbishop as allegations of corruption once threatened to wreck his liturgical career. One chilly morning in March 2015, the Catholic fraternity in Nyanza woke up to a disturbing news story that Archbishop Okoth had been linked to an alleged corruption network in which millions of shillings from the Vatican had been lost through ghost projects. It was alleged that the archbishop had known about a network of fraudsters that siphoned millions of dollars for ghost projects but did nothing about it. The reports shook the church but Archbishop Okoth came out fighting, describing the allegations as blackmail. Addressing the media, Archbishop Okoth who was flanked by several priests, lay leaders and nuns, denied the claims.
SEE ALSO :Why 2022 hopefuls are eyeing WesternYesterday, Anyolo who has been the Bishop of Homa Bay Diocese since 2003, bid farewell to faithful. “The mood here indicates I will miss you,” he said as he presided over a morning farewell mass at St Paul’s Homa Bay Church. “I will miss you but I will have you in my heart.” -Additional reporting by James Omoro