On Annual National Prayer Day in Kenya, Bishop Cautions against “song of tribalism”

Bishop Alfred Rotich giving the homily during the the National Prayer Day at Subukia National Marian Shrine in Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Nakuru. Credit: Catholic Mirror

On the occasion of the National Prayer Day at Subukia National Marian Shrine in Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Nakuru, Bishop Alfred Rotich has cautioned the people of God in the East African nation against participating in the “song of tribalism”.

In his homily during the October 7 event, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Bishop Rotich described tribalism as “the enemy” that Kenyans need to fight against, and advocated for unity in diversity.

“People are continually singing the song of tribalism, and that is the enemy within that we must fight,” he said during the annual event that members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) organizes, with tens of thousands of pilgrims in attendance.

Catholic Bishops in Kenya during the National Prayer Day at Subukia National Marian Shrine in Kenya’s Catholic Diocese of Nakuru. Credit: Archdiocese of Nairobi

“Each day, each minute, people are growing hateful and violent,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop lamented, and added that Kenyans have “let the enemies of tribalism divide us just because we are a democratic country.”


He went on to underscore the power of the prayer of the Holy Rosary, saying, “The rosary is a weapon. Let it be visible.”

“A police officer cannot hide his weapon yet we hide ours, and we have hidden it for the longest time. The time has come; we have to pray,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop, who served as the Local Ordinary of the Military in Kenya since his appointment in August 1997 till his retirement in December 2016 at the age of 59 said.

He continued, “We must go, as commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ, to the whole world, and we must put on our armor, the armor of God, our faith, our virtues, our prayers, and we must go and fight the enemy.”

Only through prayer will Kenyans succeed in shunning tribalism, mischief, and other vices, Bishop Rotich said.

He called upon Kenyans to address historical injustices that he said have contributed to the challenge of tribalism in the East African nation.

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“We cannot afford to perpetuate these issues indefinitely. Instead of blaming the past, including colonial legacies and the actions of our national founders, we must take responsibility by repairing historical injustices and establishing a strong foundation of a united and reconciled nation,” he said.

The Catholic Bishop, who has been at the helm of Kericho Diocese since February 2020 when he was installed underscored the need for Kenyans to “strengthen but not relegate reconciliation.”

Credit: Archdiocese of Nairobi

“We just address deep-seated resentments in the hearts of Kenya. By relegating reconciliation to a secondary priority, we risk perpetuating deep-seated resentments among Kenyans,” he explained during the October Prayer Day that the Archdiocese of Nairobi animated under the theme, “Journeying Together as a Reconciled Family”.

The 66-year-old Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in July 1996 as the Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi Archdiocese further said, “It is imperative to remember that despite our diversity, we are one family, one nation, and Kenya is our sole homeland.”


Every Kenyan “has a mission to be a peacemaker because we are all children of God,” he added.

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.