Mass burial for Kenya massacre victims

May 2, 2009 12:00 am

, KARATINA, Kenya, May 2 – The government has reiterated its pledge to deal decisively with illegal groupings that propagate insecurity and fear amongst Kenyans.

In a message of condolence delivered by Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, President Mwai Kibaki condemned the recent killings in Karatina by the Mungiki terror gang and gave an assurance of the government’s commitment to guarantee security for all Kenyans.

President Kibaki called on leaders and parents to mould the youth into responsible law abiding citizens.

“As we mourn and bury the victims today, the society must strive to bring up a generation of creative young men who will assist in the generation of wealth and not destroying the wealth already created,” the Head of State said.

“I urge all the leaders and parents to be involved in moulding a responsible young generation and to engage with the government in developing various options and opportunities for youth employment,” he added.

The President also urged Kenyans to embrace community policing as opposed to vigilante groups as the way of eradicating crime in society.

“I also urge the security organs to fully embrace community policing in an effort to involve the public in policing their own areas,” he said.

Speaking at an Inter-denominational funeral service for 16 of the 29 massacre victims, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said the incident contributed to negative media publicity across the world.

“These two weeks two things have happened that have given our country a bad face. One of these things is the 29 people who died here at Karatina,” Mr Musyoka stated.

He further posed: “Just think, if you were someone having a lot of money and wanted to invest in Kenya would do so or would you have taken your money to Uganda and other countries? Let us not live like animals, but like human beings who have respect and dignity.”

Internal security minister Professor George Saitoti assured local residents that the government would beef up security with all chief camps manned by administration policemen who would assist the public through community policing to alleviate crime.

He urged local religious and political leaders to sensitise the society on the importance of peaceful co-existence.

Area Member of Parliament Ephraim Maina thanked the government for supporting the bereaved families and assured that the people in the area had resolved to support the State in stamping out crime through collaboration with local security agencies.

The service was conducted by Reverend Richard Wathure of PCEA Gathaithi while the sermon was delivered by Fr. Ndirangu of Karatina Catholic Parish alongside other clergy of various churches in the area.

Others in attendance included Ministers Esther Murugi and Beth Mugo, several assistant ministers and Central Provincial Commissioner Japhter Kiplimo Rugut.

In their sermon the prelates urged Kenyans to turn back to God for salvation and healing.

They said revenge would not help in bringing about peace and reconciliation in the society, saying confrontation always worsens any fragile situation.

They fronted for dialogue between communities and political leaders at local and national levels so as to attain peace and harmony in the country.

On Thursday this week twelve other victims of the April 21 mass killings were laid to rest in Kirinyaga.


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