Pope Francis calls on leaders to observe integrity and transparency

Pope Francis, President Kenyatta and former Presidents Moi and Kibaki
Pope Francis, President Kenyatta and former Presidents Moi and Kibaki

Pope Francis has called on Kenyan leaders to observe integrity in execution of their mandates to the people.

Speaking during a joint address with his host President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi, the Pope called on Kenyans to work on protecting human integrity and support national leaders in promoting economic development.

He emphasised on the need to build a sound democratic order, strengthen cohesion and integration, tolerance and respect for others saying the pursuit of the common good must be a primary goal in life.

Pope Francis told leaders in political, cultural and economic spheres to be true to serving Kenyans adding that the advancement and preservation of values is entrusted in to them.

“This is a great responsibility, a true calling, in the service of the entire Kenyan people. The Gospel tells us that from those to whom much has been given, much will be demanded,” he said.

“In that spirit, I encourage you to work with integrity and transparency for the common good, and to foster a spirit of solidarity at every level of society.”

In his earlier address, President Kenyatta had asked Pope Francis to pray for him as he leads the nation.

The Head of State further asked the Pope to pray for the country so that “God may heal us and heal the land.”

He expressed appreciation for the role played by the Church in development, singling out the extensive contribution by the Catholic Church to the country’s education and health sectors as a key to the country’s growth.

President Kenyatta stated that there had been willingness in Kenya to fight corruption saying civil society, media and religious leaders have joined in the fight to end graft.

Pope Francis is in the country on a three-day visit, his first time in Africa since he was named Pope in 2013.

During his visit, Pope Francis will hold a mass at the University of Nairobi on Thursday morning before heading to UNEP in Gigiri.

On Friday, the Pope will visit Kangemi then address youth at Kasarani Stadium before leaving for Uganda.

Pope Francis will be in Uganda for three days before winding up his tour of Africa with a visit to Central African Republic.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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