, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Aug 25 – Bishop Norman Wambua King’oo has been installed as the new Machakos Catholic Diocese Bishop in an event attended by fellow bishops and political leaders.
The leaders urged the new bishop to help them in promoting peace and fighting poverty in the region.
The event was presided over by Archbishop Anthony Muheria who was the apostolic administrator of Machakos, Kitui and Makueni Diocese.
Bishop King’oo in his speech promised to work together with all leaders in Machakos Diocese to find solutions to pressing issues.
He was categorical in asking leaders to work together to eradicate poverty in lower Eastern province. “I don’t want to promise you that I have answers but we will find solutions,” he said.
Bishop King’oo has been serving in Bungoma Diocese for the last 19 years and was appointed by Pope Francis on June 23 to serve as Machakos Diocese Bishop.
He is the fourth Machakos Catholic Bishop after his predecessors Ndingi Mwana’a Nzeki, the late Urbanus Kioko and Martin Kivuva.
The rite of installation involved kissing a crucifix and reading of the Apostolic Letter, which was witnessed by thousands of elated faithful who flocked the 30,000-seater stadium to full capacity.
Since 2014, Machakos Catholic Diocese had been under the care of Nyeri Catholic Archbishop, His Grace Anthony Muheria after then area Bishop Kivuva was moved to head the Archdiocese of Mombasa.
Born in 1952 in Makueni County, Bishop King’oo was ordained priest on May 22, 1988 and later appointed Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bungoma on June 27, 1998.
Political leaders from all divides were present led by Deputy President William Ruto, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Governors Charity Ngilu, Alfred Mutua and Kivutha Kibwana.
They reaffirmed their commitment to work together despite their political affiliations.
The leaders said differences in political opinion should no longer be used to divide Kenyans along ethnic lines.
DP Ruto called on the leaders to embrace competition based on development agenda.
He said divisive and tribal politics will not develop Kenya, saying there is need of leaders embracing each other.
“I agree that as Kenyans we do not want to be guided by negative ethnic politics any longer. We should all build the bridge of friendship in order to foster development and happiness for our people,” said Ruto.
On his part Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka emphasised on the country’s unity, saying he stands for it.
However, he said the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga does not imply that the opposition has joined the ruling party but meant to build bridges and bring Kenyans together.
Governor Mutua said the need for national unity was more important and critical than anything else. “Kenyans should shun ethic politics and come together as a nation. We should not be afraid to come together and hold hands for the sake of unity and harmony for our people,” said the Machakos governor.
Mutua said social fairness was critical to rolling back poverty among millions of Kenyans. “We want a country of fairness. It is quite unfair that in this modern day and age, people have to know somebody to get somewhere,” he said.
Also present was Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Members of Parliament.
The DP outlined several projects he said had been initiated by the National Government to accelerate development and transform both Machakos and Makueni counties.
“The National Government has already committed Sh40 billion towards infrastructure development in the Konza Techno City and a further Sh40 billion to fund other auxiliary activities in the same project,” said Ruto.
On the rural electrification program the DP said Sh1.65 billion had been set aside to ensure at least 40,000 households in the two counties are connected to the national grid in the next two years. “Last week, the government also commissioned and paid an initial Sh7 billion towards the construction of Thwake multi-purpose dam,” he added.