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Top Kenyan leaders attend Mass, term it a blessing

27 November 2015, 08:13 Arap Yego

Nairobi - Several high profile leaders from the political and government arena were among the thousands of Kenyans who Thursday braved a slight drizzle and the morning cold to attend the mass by Pope Francis at University of Nairobi grounds.

Apart from President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto who used a gate next to the graduation square to get to the venue, Cord leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula accessed using the road adjacent to St Paul's Catholic Chapel.

Security was tight along the Lower State-House road from the University way round-about, with a dozen of hawk-eyed security officers drawn from the police and national youth service (NYS) leaving nothing to a chance.

Hundreds of members of the public who queued were thoroughly screened and those without invitation letters from their parishes to attend the mass were politely turned away and asked to go follow the proceedings from Uhuru Park, where the Papal Mass was beamed live on huge screens.

For security reasons, those with water and drinks like Soda in bottles were forced to gulp the drinks as no one with a bottle was permitted to enter the University of Nairobi gates.

Dignitaries including Cabinet Secretaries, Governors and a number of MPs were not spared either. They were forced to alight from their vehicles and walk to the venue of the National Day of Prayer and Reflection. The vehicles were parked along State House Road.

Pope Francis who was atop his open-sided pope-mobile received a thunderous welcome from the public who were lined up when he arrived at the gate few minutes past 9am.

Read Also: Some Kenyans left Mass fearing stampede

Leaders who spoke to News24 after attending the Mass which is Pope Francis' maiden one on African soil described it as enlightening and a blessing to not only Kenyans but to other residents of the region as well.

"I feel very blessed. This day Kenya has received great blessings. I am happy the Pope prayed for peace in Kenya and entire continent. As a Christian and Catholic myself, I feel privileged to have been part of the historic Mass," said Water CS Eugene Wamalwa.

"As leaders and a country we should focus on the values the Pope extolled today of none discrimination, inclusiveness, empowerment of youth and women and the poor," added the CS.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, who is the vice chairman of Kenyan Catholic MPs and who in August met the Holy Father at the Vatican, observed that celebrating the mass with Pope Francis was a wonderful experience.

"It was a humbling and wonderful experience. His message and key focus on family values, servant leadership, tolerance and concern for the environment, resonated well with Kenyans," said the lawmaker.

The National Assembly Deputy Opposition chief whip appealed to the Jubilee leadership to put into practice what Pope Francis preached about on equitable resource distribution, upholding integrity and transparency and accountability.

Former President Mwai Kibaki, Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, Senator Mike Sonko (Nairobi)  Governors Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu) among others attended the papal mass.

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- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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