MPs among officials to receive Pope at State House

MPs and their spouses will be among dignitaries who will receive Pope Francis at State House, Nairobi, when the head of the Catholic Church jets in on Wednesday evening.

The MPs have also been given special cards and invitation letters to attend the papal Mass on Thursday which, will be presided over by Pope Francis at the University of Nairobi grounds.

Pope Francis will be on a three-day State visit to Kenya from Wednesday to Friday when he will leave for Kampala. From Uganda, the Pope is scheduled to visit the war-ravaged Central African Republic.

Thomas Mwadegu, who chairs a caucus of Catholic MPs in Parliament, invited legislators to State House.

“I wish to inform all of you that the Pope will arrive tomorrow (today). MPs have been invited by the government to State House to be with the President to welcome the Pope. Each MP has been given invitation cards,” Mr Mwadegu announced at a sitting of the House on Tuesday evening.

“We have been given car stickers. We thought we will go in one bus but it has been decided that each MP uses his vehicle. You must be at State House by 4pm tomorrow (Wednesday).

“Each MP and Kenyans are invited to attend Mass celebrated by the Pope. MPs have been given invites and special tickets to the venue of the Mass. No vehicle will be allowed in the university grounds. There will be Parliament staff guiding you on where you will sit,” Mr Mwadegu said.

He urged MPs to carry their identification cards to the Mass for ease of identification. “We want the ceremony to be peaceful. The Mass starts at 10am but you must be seated by 9am,” he said.

The government has declared Thursday a public holiday to allow Kenyans to attend the papal Mass.