Thousands of Catholic faithful and Kenyans have converged at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Eldoret Town to view the body of the late Bishop Cornelius Korir who will be buried tomorrow (Saturday).
The cortege left the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary at 11am on Friday and snaked its way to the church grounds where the bishop will be buried in accordance with the church tradition.
Business came to a standstill in Eldoret Town as Kenyans lined up along the busy Uganda Road to pay their last respects to the Bishop.
Catholic faithful sang in low tones in honour of the fallen bishop.
Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago and his Nandi counterpart Stephen Sang led other leaders in paying their last respect to the Bishop.
The public will have an opportunity to view the body until 3pm before the start of a requiem mass.
There will be six vigil masses with the first vigil set to begin at 7pm and the last at 5am on Saturday morning.
The vigil masses will be led by different deaneries.
On Saturday, mourners will converge at Eldoret Sports Club for burial mass where about 100,000 people among them President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto among others are expected to attend.
Father Fredrick Njoroge who is in charge of communications at Eldoret Catholic Diocese said that the body will leave the church at 8am to the Eldoret Sports Club Grounds where burial mass is expected to start at 10 am and end at midday.
“We have instructed those who will be given an opportunity to speak to take the shortest time between two to three minutes each,” said Father Njoroge.
He said that in the arrangement, all other dignitaries will be asked to waive to the mourners. Then Governor Mandago will be invited to make brief remarks then invite Deputy President who will invite the President.
“The cortege will then leave for burial inside the church at around 3pm where only accredited people including journalists will be allowed in. We only expect 3,000 people at the church grounds,” added Father Njoroge.
Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo, State Function officers and those from Presidential Protocol office yesterday inspected Eldoret Sports Club where the burial mass scheduled for Saturday will be held to harmonise preparations.
“All is set for the burial. We’ve put in place all the security arrangements for the bishop’s burial,” said Mr Musiambo.
He said that some roads will be closed during the burial to facilitate flow of traffic to and fro the venue of the burial with Uasin Gishu Primary School grounds being set aside as car park.
The church has been given a facelift with service providers erecting lights and painting the buildings. No car is allowed at the church grounds.
“Everything is on top gear at the St John's Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral. We are asking members of the public to come in large numbers and pay their last respects to the late Bishop because he was a Bishop for everyone,” said Father Njoroge.