, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 5 – The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has emphasised the need for reconciliation in Kenya.
Speaking during a service at the Anglican Church of Kenya, Welby explained that there’s need for structures that will give the country the capacity to deal with challenges that bring divisions like the presidential election which saw NASA leader Raila Odinga boycott the exercise.
“I am not calling for mediation but for the steady and long term work of building structures of reconciliation. The capacity to deal with the nation’s challenges in a way that brings peace in the future even when there are deep disagreements,” he said.
He pointed out that Kenya has always set a sterling example of being a peaceful country and stressed that it should be maintained.
“Since independence, Kenya has been a model for Africa, yes with problems and trials but for the most part, keeping the peace. We need an example of reconciliation, not only in this country, but in the region of which it is the leader,” he stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga were present for the service, this being the first time they were appearing together after the repeat poll.
“Reconciliation is not mediation or arbitration, or trickery and abandoning principle, it is the transformation of violent and destructive conflict into lives in which disagreements are still there but dealt with peaceful for the common good,” the Archbishop stated.
He said a prayer for President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.
“Almighty God, we pray for our President-elect, his Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, the Deputy President-elect, the Cabinet Ministers and all those who hold leadership positions in our country,” he stated.
“Grant our President great wisdom as he leads this nation at a time when we are faced with many challenges that threaten our unity as a nation. Guide him in your righteousness so that we may be governed in a way that promotes peace and justice.”
The symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion on Saturday met President Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, where he urged Kenyans to maintain peace.
It is the second time this year that Archbishop Welby is visiting Kenya, having been in the country in February at the beginning of the celebrations to mark the church’s 100th anniversary.
The cathedral acts as the headquarters of the Anglican Province in Kenya as well as a diocese of the Anglican Church in Kenya with Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit as the bishop of the diocese.
On October 12, amid the drama and acrimony that characterised the October 26 repeat presidential election, Odinga met Archbishop Welby in the Windsor Suite at Heathrow Airport, where discussions focused on the political situation in Kenya.