The Kenyan priest who was killed in Cameroon has been eulogised as a brave person, who left the comfort of his native home in Bomachoge Chache, Kisii County, to serve in a conflict zone.
Father Cosmas Omboto was shot dead on November 21 at a church in Kembong in the restive Southwest region of Cameroon as he presided over an evening mass.
Fr Omboto was the fourth born in a family of six and had served about three years as a missionary when death came calling. He was 33 years old.
The clergyman was buried at the Nyabururu Mission graveyard in Kisii on Thursday, a ceremony that dozens of political leaders attended.
They included Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and Bomachoge Chache legislator Alfa Miruka.
Those who spoke at the funeral said the religious leader took spiritual healing and salvation to a people whose country is torn by conflict.
Catholic Church leaders led by Bishop John Mairura likened Fr Omboto's death to that of a martyr.
"He died while preaching the gospel. He was a soldier in the faith. The church looks forward to meeting him again when the roll call is called up yonder," Bishop Mairura said.
He noted that the mission to spread the gospel will not be hampered by isolated incidents of thuggery and violence.
Bishop Mairura termed the killing callous and sad, and called on the world to act against the violence in the western Africa country.
“We collectively vouch for peace for the word to be preached to hurting souls,” he said.
Vicar General Jeremiah Nyakundi termed the cleric's death a "gospel seed that will germinate to illuminate".
Mr Nyakundi said that incidents where priests and pastors are killed are acts of atrocity that only strengthen the resolve of the church to evangelise.
"We bury him today but his missionary spirit will forever live to inspire others as the Church moves to ensure the world is reached with the word of God."
He pointed out that Fr Omboto left the comfort of his native home to serve, only to end up a victim of senseless killing.
The clerics hoped that peace will be restored in Cameroon to open doors for more evangelism.
Deputy Governor Maangi said the Church lost a steward, faithful servant and a mentor of young people.
He said Fr Omboto emerged from a life overshadowed by poverty and simplicity to become a man fired by the missionary spirit and ready to die for his faith.
Bomachoge MP Alfa Miruka asked the government to ensure the security of Kenyans working in the diaspora is guaranteed.
"It should be the primary responsibility of the government to ensure all its citizens on foreign fields are secure,” he said, adding he will submit to present a bill on the welfare of citizens abroad.
The lawmaker described Fr Omboto as a hero who served God with all his heart.
On politics, the MP termed the bashing of legislators who are pushing for higher salaries and benefits as misplaced.
Kenya has enough resources for workers, he said, adding MPs would get decent pay in a country free of corruption.
“It should not be all about bashing all the time. MPs can serve well with decent pay,” he said.