More than 2,000 pilgrims leave Mombasa for Nairobi to meet Pope Francis

By: LABAN ROBERT

More than 2,000 Catholics faithfuls left Mombasa early Wednesday for Nairobi to meet Pope Francis.

The pilgrims left in a convoy of 50 buses from Tudor Pastoral Centre at 4.45am and they are expected to arrive in Nairobi by 9pm Wednesday. On their way, the faithfuls hope to stop at specific towns to pray for peace at the Coast.

Their first stop was Voi town where they arrived at 9.50am amid tight security.

“We have reached here quite early. So far we have not experienced any difficulty. And we expect to be in Nairobi by 8pm,” said leader of the team Fr Wilybard Lagho, the Mombasa Catholic Diocese vicar-general.

HOLD PRAYERS

Their second stop was expected to be in Makindu, later Wednesday afternoon, where they were to hold similar prayers at a the Kenya Railway Station.

More other buses and personal cars joined the procession at different points along Mombasa-Nairobi Highway, raising the participants to more than 3,000 from Mombasa Archdiocese.

However, the total number of vehicles, most of which are from Catholics institutions like secondary schools, could not be revealed for security reasons.

Some pilgrims Tuesday expressed fear that they may be held up in traffic jam, more-so at the six-kilometer-Taru diversion along Mombasa, Nairobi Highway.

PREACHING PEACE

Last week, passengers and cargo transporting companies were locked up at the stretch for more than 48 hours.

The theme of the convoy, is preaching peace among the communities at the Coast region and the country at large.

Speaking during interreligious prayers held Tuesday afternoon at Tudor Pastoral Centre, Mombasa Deputy County Commissioner Mahmoud Salim assured of peace as security arrangements had been put in place.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION