Security beefed up in Mombasa ahead of Pope's visit
04 November 2015, 08:21
Mombasa - Security has been beefed up in Mombasa ahead of the highly anticipated visit of Pope Francis on November 24.
Speaking to the press at his office, Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa assured Catholics that security agents were working towards ensuring the papal visit is a success.
“Although the Pope will not be visiting Mombasa, security agents have ensured that those members of the Catholic parish at the coast travelling to Nairobi to visit the Pope, will have a safe journey,” the County Commissioner said.
Each Catholic parish in Kenya is only allowed to send three buses of pilgrims for the main mass on November 26.
He stressed that the visit is a further indication that the country’s security status is improving, with the continued visits by global dignitaries.
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Reverend Father Willybard Lagho, Vicar General of the Coastal parish who was also present at the briefing said that preparations for Pope Francis’ visit to Kenya later this month are in high gear, with many activities expected to take place before the highly anticipated event.
He said that the coast coordinating team had put in place a programme that will ensure that the region is also represented during the visit.
“The three buses shipping failthful from Mombasa to Nairobi will comprise representatives from the four counties where the Catholic church has parishes in the coast,” Reverend Lagho said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Pope’s visit, the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) secretary general Sheikh Khalifa Mohammed said that the Pope’s visit must stress the need for peace and reconciliation among leaders who have been fanning ethnic politics.
He also acknowledged the significance of the Pope’s visit, saying it is a sign of shifting attitudes towards Kenya which in the recent past has been viewed as a hotbed of terrorism.
Sheikh Khalifa urged political leaders to desist from propelling hate speech, which he noted has been on the rise and urged Kenyans to deny dishonest politicians the opportunity to divide them along tribal lines.
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