President Uhuru Kenyatta joined the Catholic faithful during the national launch of the Lenten campaign at Marian Shrine in Subukia in Nakuru County where the Building Bridges Initiative was among the highlights.
This year’s theme is: “Stewardship for a transformed nation….my obligation,” with a call to give the country another chance to redeem itself from rampant corruption, suffering, mysterious deaths and other calamities.
“We must as a country allow the spirit of servant leadership to be our guiding factor in the next 40 days of this Lenten campaign,” said the Catholic bishops in their pastoral letter.
They said the forthcoming referendum should not cause divisions among Kenyans
“The referendum proposed by the BBI must unite Kenyans for the common good. The divisive referendum witnessed in 2005 and 2010 must be avoided at all cost,” said the chairman of the Catholic Conference Bishop Philip Anyolo.
Bishop Anyolo said that the political wounds that Kenyans suffered in election violence must be healed by implementing the report of the truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) .
The 26 Catholic bishops unanimously said that all political players and other stakeholders must be involved in case the country will hold any referendum.
Responding, President Kenyatta said that the content of the pastoral letter by the Catholic bishops was self-explanatory.
“Anybody who has ears has heard the message by the bishops. Anybody who has not heard or internalise the message needs special prayers and we should all pray for such people,” said President Kenyatta.
Mr Kenyatta said the responsibility of reclaiming the nation’s pride starts at individual level.
“We all have responsibility to make sure we fight corruption, improve our environment and maintain peace and unity. That is the foundation that we should all undertake and fight all the challenges affecting the country,” said Mr Kenyatta.
He added the culture of pointing an accusing finger on individuals for the shortcoming facing the nation should stop.
“The fight against corruption starts with the individual and if we all agree to tackle it, Kenya will address this problem,” he added.
He said Nakuru is the face of Kenya and the peace it has been preaching should be maintained at all times.
“There is no reason at all to shed blood of fellow Kenyan because of politics of competition. We can agree to compete on politics based on polices and not tribes. You can’t eat your tribe but you can benefit from good policy of any Kenyan from any corner of this country,” said President Kenyatta.
He said BBI was meant to bring a lasting political solution, where Kenyans will live in peace irrespective of the election outcome.
“Kenyans should always live in harmony with each other, environment and in harmony with themselves,” added the Head of State.
The bishops said that this year’s Lenten campaign is a follow-up of the Subukia declaration that vowed to fight corruption.
“The stewardship can take the country to greater heights because it is a commitment of oneself to live in a righteous way as each one of us will one day be called upon to give an account of how we managed the natural resources,” said Bishop Anyolo.
The Lenten campaign will also focus on sustainable agriculture practices to ensure the country has good food reserves.
“This will enable us feed the nation and take care of the future generation,” said Bishop Anyolo.
The campaign will also focus on how to empower the youth, preserve the environment and natural resources and sanctity of life.
“The dignity of life from conception to end must be upheld. We must act ethically and reject the culture of death of unborn lives,” said Bishop Anyolo.
The church called on politicians to practice servant leadership
“It is not what we get that matters but the service that we give. We must be accountable to God and the people we serve.”