“Stand strong in faith, vigilant to avoid being misused”: Kenyan Bishop to Catholic Women

Bishop Joseph Mwongela of Kenya's Kitui Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Bishop of Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Kitui has urged Catholic women to “stand strong in faith” and to be wary of politicians who might want to misuse them while campaigning for various political positions in the August 9 general elections.

In an audio message obtained by ACI Africa on the International Women’s Day (IWD), Tuesday, March 8, Bishop Joseph Mwongela says politicians take advantage of women during political campaigns.

“We are currently preparing for the general elections in Kenya. Women are often being misused during the electioneering period. I plead with you Catholic women to stand strong in faith and be vigilant to avoid being misused," Bishop Mwongela says. 

The Kenyan Catholic Bishop says women are mostly misused by being given bribes.  

Instead of falling prey to politicians’ stunts, Bishop Mwongela has told Catholic women “to pray, and to contemplate so that we are able to elect true leaders.” 


"Use the strength that you have as women to bring our communities together, to bring Kenyans together so that we live as children of one God," the Bishop who has been at the helm of Kenya’s Kitui Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in August 2020 says in the audio recording.

The annual IWD has been celebrated by the United Nations (UN) since 1975.

This year's IWD theme is, "Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow."

In his message, Bishop Mwongela urges political aspirants to refrain from taking advantage of women and the Church while campaigning for elective positions. 

He says that political aspirants should explain their manifestos and market themselves to the electorate.

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Kenyans are expected to go to the polls on August 9 to elect their president, governors, senators, women representatives, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Member of County Assemblies (MCA). 

In his IWD audio message, the Local Ordinary of Kitui also calls on women in the East African nation to emulate the Virgin Mary saying, “I urge you to emulate the example of Mother Mary who was obedient, who listened to the voice of God when He spoke to her, and she acted in accordance with the will of God."

The Kenyan Catholic Bishop who will turn 54 next month promised to pray for women that they may succeed in their endeavors. 

“I’m praying for women, especially those in marriages, to stand firm and strengthen the family. Love your children, your husbands, your parents. May you be good neighbors to each other; may the Lord Bless you; may He make your marriages successful. May your families bring benefits to the society," Bishop Mwongela says.

He thanks women “for the work you do in the Church."


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.