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Bishop calls out politicians over use of toxic and abusive language

By Ndung’u Gachane | May 1st 2022 | 3 min read
President Uhuru Kenyatta per-takes of the Holy Communion during the Mass at the interfaith State Burial Service of former President Mwai Kibaki at the Othaya Approved School Grounds, led by Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri

Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria has urged the political class to emulate the conduct of the late President Mwai Kibaki.

In a hard-hitting sermon yesterday, Archbishop Muheria challenged politicians to reflect on the life of Kibaki and his principles and implement them in their own lives and political careers.

While accusing the political class of hijacking the brotherhood and sisterhood of the nation for selfish motives, Muheria said many Kenyan leaders required “a special sanitiser to disinfect our toxic mouths...”

“God wants us to reign in our mouths. Kibaki never said a remark against his competitors; he used jokes but never pointed a finger directly at his rivals,” said Muheria.

In a message, which seemed to be directed at the three main political players nationally -  President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga - Muheria urged them to forgive one another and move on with building the nation.

“Let us learn to pardon each other. Let us seek reconciliation since this is what Kibaki would ask. We will only be worthy children to him if we listen to his words and live to his spirit,” he said.

While basing his sermon to 2 Timothy 4:7 which states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith,” Muheria called on Kenyans and the political class to keep the faith just like the fallen hero.

“He was humble and lived in simplicity. He had respect for sacred places and he did not wish to be recognised. He never sought to display his power; he had no show of opulence,” said Muheria.

He narrated an incident in 2018 when the elderly Kibaki visited the church and when it was about the time to kneel, he sent Kibaki’s secretary to ask him not to kneel but the late president stuck to his gun and knelt.

“His example is badly needed in this nation. He knew how to forgive,” said the archbishop.

Muheria was apparently targeting politicians who go to church to endear themselves to the congregants but they are not Christians. He told them to follow in Kibaki’s footsteps as he did not entertain political utterances on the pulpit.

Muheria cited Matthew 25:35-40 in which God tells His faithful about being hungry and being given something to eat, being thirsty and being given something to drink, to describe the life and times of Kibaki.

“Let us reflect what what Kibaki did to the ordinary people without seeking political mileage. Let us embrace truth in leadership; let us serve not seek; let us protect the truth and not seek pride and self-glorification,” he said.

He said in Kibaki’s weakness, he knew how to rise up and not compromise the truth.

“He did his bit with hope and optimism but never used falsehood to increase his political capital,” said the archbishop.

According to Muheria, it was Kibaki’s wish to be buried in simplicity and a ceremony without much political rhetoric.

In his sermon, the archbishop drew laughs and cheering constantly.

Muheria urged Kenyans from all walks of life not to destroy the image of Kibaki.

“Let us not behave like a village hen, which lays an egg and makes noise for everyone to know. The hen only sees itself and does not know others. Let us mind our brothers and struggle for what is just, merciful and truthful,” he said.

The mass started after brief prayers and blessing of the body, with the archbishop leading the burning an incense according to Catholic tradition.

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