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Save Kenya from chaos, urge leaders

Sunday April 12 2009

John Cardinal Njue leads faithfuls during the Easter Sunday mass at Holy Family Basilica on Sunday to commemorate the risen Christ. Photo/PHOEBE OKALL (NAIROBI)

John Cardinal Njue leads the congregation through Easter Sunday mass at Holy Family Basilica on Sunday to commemorate the risen Christ. Photo/PHOEBE OKALL (NAIROBI)  

By NATION Team

Christian leaders on Sunday urged President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to save the nation from plunging into turmoil. Delivering his Easter message, Methodist Church Bishop Pius Kagwi appealled to the principals to avert a repeat of the post-poll violence.

“A good leader will give up his life to save the nation rather than cause the death of innocent people. What happiness do you get when the country is on fire? We are celebrating Easter because our Lord Jesus Christ gave his life to save humanity from evil. Why can’t our leaders borrow a leaf from Christ? The nation is more important than two people,” bishop Kagwi said.

He urged Mr Odinga to boost his chances in the 2012 election by exemplary leadership. “This is a chance for the PM to market himself to Kenyans. The President has nothing to lose as he is serving his last term,” said the bishop.

Jesus Celebration Centre pastor Wilfred Baraza said the faithful have been praying for the leaders and urged President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to calm the storm.

The Anglican Church of Kenya Katakwa Diocese’s Bishop Zakayo Epus accused the two of failing Kenyans. “Are they ready to accept that they have failed? Success must be preceded by repentance which I beseech the two to do,” he said at the St Thomas ACK Cathedral Church in Amagoro.

Earlier, Bishop Epus’s predecessor, Eliud Okiring Daudi Ramaina accused ODM-Kenya leader Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka of fomenting discord.

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In Nairobi, Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi urged the partners to give dialogue a chance. “That Kilaguni failed does not mean the end of dialogue. They can go anywhere else and talk,” Archbishop Nzimbi said at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.

He said reforms should get priority. “The first reform should be a lean Cabinet of 17 ministers. This way, the principals can show their concern for the nation.” He said the situation was not as bad as many would like to believe and it could be salvaged through dialogue.

The head of the Catholic Church, John Cardinal Njue, had the same message. Cardinal Njue said Kenya’s future is in the hands of the President and Prime Minister. “The principals cannot run away from it,” he said at the Holy Family Basilica.

Cardinal Njue likened a fresh election to constructing a building on a shaky foundation. “We are dealing with a wounded people and it would be unfortunate to scratch their wounds,” he cautioned. He called on hardliners in ODM and PNU to soften their stance. “This is not about who is stronger,” he said.

Reports by Mathias Ringa, Henry Andanje, Sammy Cheboi and Caroline Wafula