KENYA: Church Marks Fr Kaisers 23rd Anniversary with Calls to End Impunity

By Arnold Neliba

NAIVASHA, AUGUST 25, 2023 (CISA)-During the 23rd anniversary of the late Fr John Anthony Kaiser MHM, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has protested incidences of extra-judicial killing of citizens and detention of human rights activists against the constitution.

Through a statement signed by Bishop John Oballa Owaa Chairman of Catholic Justice and Peace Department of KCCB, the bishops in memory of Fr Kaiser and all those who died fighting for the rights of the poor and underprivileged in the society, have called for the respect of the rule of law in line with the constitution.

“The oppression of the vulnerable shows the extent of impunity and injustice where the systems do not serve the people and the rule of law is not upheld. This commemoration today is a call for action as a People, Government, Church, Civil Society, and the International Community to end impunity,” the August 25 statement reads.

“…we pride ourselves as champions of the rule of law and respect for human rights as enshrined in the Constitution. As we celebrate the 13th anniversary of the 2010 Constitution on Sunday 27th August 2023, we register our concern about the lack of Constitutionalism despite having a progressive Constitution,” the bishops added.

Since the murder of Fr Kaiser on August 24, 2000, the bishops have protested how 23 years later the killers have not been identified and prosecuted. This, they said, is how injustice continues to manifest in the society.

Alongside Fr Kaiser, the bishops have remember the contributions of brave Kenyans in the fight for justice; the late Anglican Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge of Eldoret, the late Karimi Nduthu of the Release Political Prisoners pressure group, Oscar Kamau King’ara and John Paul Oulo of the Oscar Foundation, Lawyer Willie Kimani and his colleagues.

“We also remember other crusaders of social justice and who spoke out with courage against abuse of the rights of the poor and underprivileged such as the late Archbishop Emeritus of Nairobi and former Bishop of Nakuru Most Rev. Raphael Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki and the late Bishop Cornelius Korir of Eldoret,” they added.

The memorial Mass of Fr Kaiser under the theme ‘Let Justice be our shield and Defender’ held publicly at Morendat in Naivasha, the place he was found shot dead, along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway was celebrated by Bishop Clephas Oseso of Nakuru, KCCB Deputy General Secretary, Rev Fr Bernard Ngaruiya, and a host of Priests, men and women religious and catholic faithful.

“We are here, where his body was found and we shall not tire asking who killed him,” Bishop Oseso said in his homily stressing that “he was not killed because he wanted land, instead for standing for the rights of the less fortunate.”

Fr Kaiser has been remembered as a champion of social justice, a kind man, an illustrious Missionary priest and someone who is remembered “for the work he did for the vulnerable, oppressed, and downtrodden members who are still facing injustices and oppression in society today.”

“Corruption is on the increase, negative ethnicity, divisive politics, land grabbing, and forceful eviction of people from their homes remain a concern. These are the issues that Fr. Kaiser spent most of his life fighting for until his brutal murder,” the bishops said while committing to continue speaking out fearlessly and supporting the vulnerable members of the community in line with the social teaching of the Church for the common good.