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President Uhuru Kenyatta pictured here during a national prayer service in March also attended by Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga/PSCU/FILE

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Kenyatta defends decision to convene national prayer service on coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 –  President Uhuru Kenyatta has told off those faulting his decision to proclaim a National Prayer Day, for Kenyans to seek divine intervention as the world goes through challenging times such as the invasion of locusts and now the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Head of State who was reacting to remarks by US-based lawyer Prof Makau Mutua and an editorial in weekend newspaper which mocked him for turning to God, yet the State had failed to implement interventions recommended in combating with the calamities.

Speaking at the end of a two-hour national inter-faith and inter-denominational prayer service, President Kenyatta reaffirmed that Kenya is a God-fearing nation.

“It is good to come together as a nation; it is good to pray together as a nation I know there are those who are saying that we should depend on science not prayers, but I want to assure you that even science needs God. So, we need to always remembers that a nation prospers when it believes and trusts in its maker,” Kenyatta said.  

He urged Kenyans and the clergy to scale up prayers for the country to overcome the challenges it is facing.

“Mine is to continue asking you fellow Kenyans, to continue praying for peace, continue praying for reconciliation, pray for unity, prosperity and understanding and I am certain that our God is a listening God and He will hear us and grant us our desires and wishes,” said Kenyatta.  

Deputy President William Ruto, House Speakers Justin Muturi and Ken Lusaka, opposition leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi joined the President at the prayer service.

Religious leaders who presided over the service called on Kenyans to be responsible and cooperate with government bodies to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Mombasa Catholic Archbishop Martin Kivuva cautioned Kenyans against trivializing the measures.

“It is not saying be careless, you have to been told by the Ministry of health and the World Health Organization to be careful because it is not a small issue. Therefore, I ask all you not to take this matter lightly,” Kivuva urged.

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Dr Faruddin Abdalla similarly prayed for strength and healing for those who have been affected and their relatives.

CITAM Presiding Bishop David Oginde and Professor Abdilatif Essajjee led the nation in seeking repentance and forgiveness.

The government has so far confirmed seven positive cases of the virus that has left over 11,000 people dead and infected over 280,000 others globally.

Some 93,576 others have however recovered from the virus.  

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