Wednesday, 12 November 2008

KENYA: Nation Marks 30 Years of First President’s Death

NAIROBI, August 22, 2008 (CISA) -A memorial mass for Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta who died 30 years ago was held at the Holy Family Basilica cathedral in Nairobi on Friday.The Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi, David Kamau, celebrated the mass, which was attended by among others the Kenyatta family and President Mwai Kibaki.Bishop Kamau said that President Kenyatta united Kenyans, and so they should endeavour to fight corruption and tribalism and maintain peace. President Mwai Kibaki laid a wreath at the mausoleum of the late president.The founding president was educated by missionaries and helped translate the New Testament into Kikuyu language. Kenyatta joined nationalist politics in the 1920’s and dabbled in journalism.He gained international fame with the publication of ‘Facing Mount Kenya,’ an anthropological study of Kikuyu culture, and critique of British cultural domination.15-year ruleOn becoming Prime Minister at Independence in 1963, he wielded power with gusto and is said to have whipped Cabinet Ministers and state officials who crossed his path.His 15-year rule was characterised by the entrenchment of ethnic bigotry, political patronage and impunity, assassinations, the detention without trail of dissidents and massive illegal allocation of public land to relatives and cronies.Many commentators trace to the Kenyatta years the roots of present-day national problems such widespread poverty, skewed allocation of national resources, endemic corruption, poor public service delivery and the political manipulation of ethnicity to acquire and retain power.He died on August 22, 1978. His youngest son, Uhuru, a presidential candidate in 2002, is now Deputy Prime Minister.“His death was sudden, unexpected and shocked all of us,” one of Kenyatta’s nurses who was present at his death told the Standard newspaper.Meanwhile, a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Nairobi was buried on Thursday. Fr Samuel Mbugua Ng’ang’a of Ting’ang’a Parish in Kiambu District died a week ago. He was 57.The requiem mass was celebrated at Holy Family Basilica by John Cardinal Njue. Fr Ng’ang’a was born in 1951 in Githunguri Division, Kiambu and was ordained on February 11, 1979.A nun from the Daughters of St Paul congregation who knew him, Sr Mary Kimani, said that Fr Ng’ng’a was a hardworking priest. “He was always available to his Christians when he was in our parish at Mutomo.”

No comments: