NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday sent a message of condolence and comfort to the family, relatives and friends of Retired Nairobi Catholic Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki who died Monday night.
The Head of State described the late prelate as a loving and outstanding man of God whose servant leadership shall be missed by Kenyans.
“Besides his role as a religious leader, the late Archbishop dedicated himself to the protection of the weak and the fight for justice, and never shied away from doing the right thing, and in doing so, he distinguished himself as a servant leader and role model,” the President’s message read.
He said the cleric will be remembered as a Kenyan icon, a bastion of peace and a man of true faith who answered his life-long calling as minister of the gospel and a shepherd of mankind.
“As we mourn Archbishop Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki’s death, let us be grateful that he lived his life well in the Lord, and that he has left an indelible mark in the lives of all those who had the privilege of knowing him,” read the President’s statement.
President Kenyatta observed that since his ordination as a priest in 1961, Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki faithfully served the Catholic Church with distinction and never compromised his calling even at the most trying and challenging times in the history of our country.
“Fellow Kenyans, let us all take time to reflect on Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a ‘Nzeki’s famous words, “Mwamini Mungu si mtovu” (He who believes in God lacks nothing),” President Kenyatta said.
Deputy President William Ruto on his part said Kenya had lost a moral enthusiast, focused and selfless leader who will be fondly remembered for working for the greater good of the people of Kenya.
“He was a towering and progressive spiritual figure who relentlessly advocated for equal justice in our society,” said the DP.
Chief Justice David Maraga said Kenya and the entire Catholic Church is mourning the passing on of an ardent Christian who stood for truth, justice and equity.
ODM Leader Raila Odinga has equally mourned the cleric saying Kenya will miss of one of the brightest lights that Kenyans knew they could always count on to stand and speak out for truth and justice whatever the threat that posed to his life.
“We mourn the falling of a Man of God,… A man who stood for the truth and openly spoke about what the common man wanted to hear, a defender of human rights,” said Odinga.
Former Vice Presidents Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Senate Minority Leader James Orengo said Ndingi will be remembered as a fearless advocate for human rights and a champion the spirituality of the nation.
“Ever speaking his mind, he was a key figure in advocating for human rights and championed the spirituality of the Nation. He will be truly missed and remembered,” Musyoka, who is also the Wiper Democratic Party Leader, added.
In his statement, Mudavadi said; “A man of God who stood for righteousness, championed the cause of the poor and downtrodden and stood up for political and social justice. RIP Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a Nzeki.”
“His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki had a profound impact on the future generation of humanity. His understanding of the link between Religion, human poverty and equality undoubtedly influenced a generation of bishops and policymakers. May his soul rest in peace,” Orengo in his message of condolence.
The news of Ndingi’s demise was announced by Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Antony Muheria.
He entered the national limelight when he opposed the Kanu government’s directive that forced voters to queue or line up behind their candidate.
The outspoken and fearless leader had served in many roles and places including being assistant priest at Makadara, Nairobi; Education Secretary-General of Catholic Bishops; student at Rochester College, New York; Bishop of Machakos, later of Nakuru and finally the Archbishop of Nairobi.