40 buses ferried 2,000 to Nairobi


More than 40 buses were used to bring Christians, mostly Catholics, and Muslims from Kakamega, Vihiga and Kisumu towns to Nairobi for the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.

The more than 2,000 people left on Wednesday in groups.

Fr Boniface Mmbwaga, the secretary of the Kakamega Diocese said: “We travelled together with our Muslim and protestant brothers since the Mass was not restricted to Catholics only,” he said.

“Muslim imams and protestant pastors have been working together with us throughout the arrangements to make this trip a success,” he said.

In Kisumu, the faithful were flagged off by Fr Michael Ndiege of the Kibuye Diocese.

Fr Ndiege said the faithful were picked up from all parishes in the county. “We have registered over 1,000 faithful from the Diocese of Kisumu, who represented us in Nairobi for the Mass,” he told the Nation.

Those who spoke to the Nation before the papal service said they would use the opportunity to pray for the country and the church.

Mrs Monica Aoko, 75, said the visit to Nairobi would be her third encounter with a pope. She attended the Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in 1983 and 1995.

“This is a blessing to me. I want to go and pray and dine with my fellow Christians as we celebrate the Mass,” said Mrs Aoko in Kisumu.

Mrs Mary Okeno, 70, said this would be her first time to see the Pope.

“I will be the first among all my friends to see the Pope in person. I cannot wait to sing and dance during his service,” she said.

Fr Mmbwaga said apart from those sponsored by the church, there were some who travelled on their own.

“Youth from counties are enthusiastic to see the Pope. Most of them were eagerly waiting to attend the meeting in Kasarani set for the youth,” he said.