Village in Bomet mourns their peacemaker son, Bishop Korir

Tuesday October 31 2017

Bishop Cornelius Kipng’eno Korir

Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Cornelius Kipng’eno Korir who died on Monday this week. Residents of his home village of Segutiet in Bomet County are mourning their peacemaker son. FILE PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GEOFFREY RONO
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Segutiet Village in Bomet Central Constituency in Bomet County has been engulfed in grief darkness following the death of the Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Cornelius Kipng’eno Korir on Monday this week.

Villagers and relatives of the late Bishop Korir are in mourning since news of his death reached them.

Villagers have been flocking the bishop’s native home to console the family.

The bishop was born in a polygamous family.

His father, Athanas Tamason, had two wives, Plantina Tamason - the bishop’s mother - and Mrs Alice Tamason.

Bishop Korir was the third born in the family of the late Tamason.

PEACEMAKER

Korir had spent most of his priestly life preaching peace among communities and trying to tame rogue politicians.

But two of his siblings were politicians.

His brother Raphael Korir was once the Mayor of the defunct Nakuru Municipal Council for two terms while another one, Michael, was the chairman of the former Bomet County Council.

The cleric went to Segutiet Primary School and Chesoen Primary School between 1959 and 1965, before sitting the Kenya Junior Certificate of Secondary Education (KJSE) as a private candidate while still engaged in his domestic chores at home.

Raised in a catholic background, his call to priesthood came through a cleric in Nakuru Diocese at Kaplong Parish who visited his home and enrolled him as one of the Catholic catechists.

Mr Vincent Langat, his relative who lives in Bomet remembers that Bishop Korir was admitted to the Eldoret Mother of Apostles Seminary after passing his KJSE where he sat his Form Four exams - the East Africa Certificate of Secondary Education (EACSE).

Mr Langat says the late bishop was later admitted to St Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Nairobi for his A-levels.

WHEAT FARMER

Bishop Korir thereafter engaged in spiritual studies in various catholic-based institutions before being ordained as a priest in 1982 and served in various parishes.

Fr Wilhem Sambu, who studied with the late cleric, says Bishop Korir was also a serious wheat farmer.

He became the bishop of the Eldoret Diocese in 1990 where he served until his death.

He was the chairman of Kenya Peace Committee, charged with reconciling communities in Kenya and the East African region.

Fr Sambu said the late bishop was instrumental in bringing peace among the warring communities in Eldoret following the 2007/2008 post-election violence and is remembered for working with the communities and the government to reach a reconciliation pact.

Fr Sambu says the bishop mentored several other priests in Bomet County.

The Segutiet home of the late Bishop was deserted as most of his kinsmen had travelled to Eldoret upon learning of his demise but Fr Sambu said he was going to organise continuous prayers at the local parish to console the bereaved family.