NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 25 – Christian faithful thronged various churches across the city on Wednesday night to usher in the birthday of Jesus Christ.
At the Holy Family Basilica, those interviewed by Capital News said they would spend Christmas with their loved ones. Parents said they planned to take their families out and probably travel upcountry to see their relatives.
“If you have friends search them out; Christmas is reunion, and if you are amid the poor help them; Christmas is a gift,” said one of those interviewed.
They also expressed their expectations for the New Year. Most hoped there would be peace in the country unlike at the beginning of the year, which was characterised by violence due to the disputed presidential elections.
“I am hoping that our leaders will push reconciliation efforts and they will be people to emulate, unlike what we have seen in the past year.”
The faithful also said that they would rededicate their lives to Christ and hoped for economic prosperity despite the global financial recession.
Meanwhile, President Mwai Kibaki has sent a message of goodwill and Christmas greetings to Kenyans as they celebrate the holiday.
In his message from State House Mombasa, the President urged Christians to use the season to renew their faith in Christ and to uphold His teachings of love and obedience.
“Let us also be inspired by Christ’s example of service to others with generous hearts and open hands,” the Head of State said.
Noting that during the festive season many Kenyans travel to various parts of the country to see their loved ones, the President appealed to all motorists to exercise maximum caution for safety on the roads.
In this regard, the Head of State asked the Traffic Police to be extra vigilant in their work, to stop the unnecessary loss of lives on the roads.
“It is unfortunate that road accidents have continued to claim many lives in our country. It is painful that the causes of most accidents can be avoided and many precious lives saved.”
His sentiments were echoed by Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali who in statement advised Kenyans to avoid excessive drinking or driving under the influence of alcohol.
Ali however said the police would enhance traffic surveillance on roads and ensure safety. He also advised families travelling to rural areas over this period to ensure they leave their town houses well secured.