KENYA: “Learn from Khartoum, Let Us Not Lose Ourselves in Political Bickering, In Rivalry,” Appeals Apostolic Nuncio van Megen

By Paschal Norbert

ISIOLO, APRIL 25, 2023 (CISA)- Going off script and in a passionate appeal to Kenyans, politicians and religious leaders, Most Rev Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megen, the apostolic nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan has appealed to the conscience of the people urging them to defend the country and to “put our shoulders under it.”

“Khartoum is an example, Sudan is the same problem, as Kenyans let us work together, let us not lose ourselves in political bickering, in rivalry, in who is the greatest, who is the most important, who can get more money out of it. Let us be people who are ready to bow their heads for justice, for truth, for the people of Kenya,” the nuncio said in Isiolo on April 22.

Speaking to a parked congregation at St. Eusebius Cathedral during the installation of Rt Rev Anthony Ireri Mukobo IMC, as the first bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Isiolo, a visibly distraught Archbishop van Megen alluded to the unfortunate political crisis, loss of lives and destruction of property in Sudan.

“I’ve been working now, for what is 13 to 14 years in a row in Africa. I have been in a number of countries and worked for a very long time by the way in Khartoum, pray for that country, pray for that City, for Khartoum where people are suffering. But comparing Kenya to the other countries you are far ahead, be proud of your country,” stated the papal diplomat.

“The country of Kenya is not built by politicians, the country of Kenya is built by all of us as we put our shoulders under it, and so we also have, all of us, a responsibility towards this country, our nation, our beloved Kenya,” he added.

The apostolic nuncio who has previously worked in Malawi, Sudan, Eritrea, and now Kenya and South Sudan; countries that have each faced a political gridlock in the last 10 years, appealed to Kenyans to chart a new path devoid of political contestations.

“Do not always look to what politicians say or do, try to be transparent in your own way of life, try to be of service to the country, build up this country, it’s more about giving than about taking and it is together that we build this Society,” he said.

In Khartoum “people knew there was political tension but then when last Saturday at about 10:30 am, somebody started to shoot and very quickly things went from bad to worse, suddenly everything seems to collapse. People were surprised, people were at work, people were in their schools, people were teaching and suddenly from one hour to the other there was war in the country.”

“Let that be a warning to all of us, let it be a warning to politicians as well when you speak as a politician mind your words, be careful of how you express yourself, very quickly things can deteriorate and then ‘pole’ is not enough, ‘pole’ will not save this situation at that point,” the nuncio admonished.