Unite Kenyans Regardless of Political, Ethnic Backgrounds: Kenyan Bishop to Politicians

Bishop Joseph Mairura Okemwa of Kisii Diocese. Credit: ACI Africa

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kisii in Kenya has called on politicians in the East African nation to come to terms with the fact that the general elections ended and to focus on uniting Kenyans regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.

Bishop Joseph Mairura Okemwa who was speaking at the end of the Eucharistic celebration to mark the Episcopal Golden Jubilee of Bishop Philip Sulumeti emphasized the need to focus on what is common between human persons. 

“The elections are over; we do not have to talk about the political divisions now. Bring all Kenyans together,” Bishop Mairura told politicians present at the October 29 celebration that was held at Bukhungu Stadium of Kakamega County.

“Let us work together,” the Kenyan Catholic Bishop said and added, “We are all made of the same stuff and God loves us all.”

He continued, “If you cut a person, the blood does not say the political party they associate with; neither does the blood tell about a person's tribe.”


Kenyans went to the polls on August 9 to elect their President, Governors, Women Representatives, Senators, Members of Parliament and Members of the County Assembly. 

The golden jubilee celebration of the Bishop Emeritus who began his episcopate in the Diocese of Kisumu in August 1972 as an Auxiliary Bishop brought together members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity, including a section of political leaders in the East African nation. 

Speaking at the October 29 event, Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary, Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, said Bishop Mairura’s call for unity “is right.”

“We have heard what you have said. Bishop Mairura is right; let us hold hands together, let us walk together, let us serve the people of Kenya. Let us bring the people of Kenya together and put behind us the political intrigues that come before an election,” Mr. Mudavadi said. 

He added that all politicians need to have a common purpose, namely, to “serve the people of Kenya, to revive the economy of this country.”

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The common purpose, Mr. Mudavadi said, can only be achieved if politicians put aside their differences and work together.

On her part, the former Deputy Presidential candidate for the Azimio la Umoja coalition, Martha Karua, said Kenyans need to enjoy democracy and their diversity as provided for in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, which Bishop Sulumeti championed.  

“The way to honor him (Bishop Sulumeti) is to safeguard the gains in that Constitution. We must have unity in diversity, not unity in a single party,” Ms. Karua said. 

She also called on Governor Fernandes Barasa of Kakamega County to serve all Kenyans without discrimination. 

“Governor Fernandes, operate from a position of strength knowing these citizens elected you and all other leaders in Kenya. Let us work together and respect each other,” Ms. Karua said during the October 29 event.


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.