Show the World Who You “really are”, Nuncio to Kenyans, Calls for Peaceful Elections

Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Kenya's Kisumu Archdiocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Attention is shifting to Kenya as the East African nation heads to the general elections slated for August 9, the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya has said, and called on Kenyans to show the world that they are a peace-loving country.

In his speech at the imposition of the Pallium on Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Kenya’s Kisumu Archdiocese, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen said that the electioneering period in Kenya is an opportunity for Kenyans to show the world who they really are.

“The eyes of the world are slowly turning to Kenya these days and everybody is asking what it is that is going to happen in the next few days. They are asking how it is going to work next week on the 9th of August. Let us show them what Kenyans really are,” Archbishop van Megen said.

He said that the electioneering period in Kenya is a time for Kenyans to show the rest of the world that they are people of peace and justice, “people that will not be provoked; people who can keep their calm.”

The Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya who also represents the Holy Father in South Sudan said that it is a time for Kenyans to demonstrate that they are people who can respect the democratic system and will receive their democratically elected leader, whatever tribe, whatever region he may be from.


“That is an indication of being a grown up and mature nation – that you are able to overcome your tribal feelings and you can understand the good qualities in the other,” the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya said, and added, “That is what binds Kenya together.”

the Dutch-born Vatican diplomat said Kenya is a country for everyone to be proud of, and added, “I hope you are proud of it as well.”

“Kenya is a country with enormous potential, with very good people,” he said, and added, “I have lived for a very long time in Africa and one of the things that I very much admire is your education system. People who go to school in Kenya are really learning something and that is what gives more quality to the future. If you pay attention to education and formation, then your country grows.”

Archbishop van Megen who started his service as Apostolic Nuncio in Sudan in 2014 urged Kenyans to focus on positive press content especially at this time when the media is filled with negative content.

He said, “When you read the newspaper, you tend to give attention to the negative aspects of the country. It happens everywhere, even in my own country. Let us, however, look at the good things. Let us look at the things that can help us to build up together.”

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“Let us encourage each other, put our shoulders together in this country Kenya, which is so blessed by God Himself,” the Nuncio in Kenya said during the imposition of the Pallium on Archbishop Muhatia at Tumsifu Centre of Kisumu Archdiocese.

Archbishop Muhatia was installed as the Local Ordinary of Kisumu on March 19 and received the Pallium from Pope Francis during Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, on June 29, at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican.

In his speech at the July 30 event, Archbishop Muhatia also appealed to the people of God in the East African country to practice restraint during the electioneering period. 

“We are requesting for restraint in the remaining few days of the campaigns; restraint by the leaders in the campaigns pertaining to what they say, how they say it, even with the body language,” Archbishop Muhatia said.

He added, “We request for restraint among the Kenyans. Kenya is a very lovely country. We have witnessed in the last 10 years of peace how much progress has been made, achieved and seen in our respective places, including our own city of Kisumu. We want to see more of this peace so that development may reach the villages of every county. We can only achieve this by maintaining peace.”


Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.