Pope urges Kenya youth to end corruption, tribalism

Pope Francis, in his last public address in Kenya has termed corruption as evil and a clear path to death, reminding those engaging in the vice that they “will not take the loot to the grave.”

In a strongly toned address, which was not part of his written speech, to the young people at the Kasarani National Stadium, that included Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, the pontiff said that the hearts of many men and women are left wounded by corruption.

“What you rob through corruption will stay here and someone else will use it. If you don’t want corruption in your heart, lives and in your country, then start with yourself now.

“I urge you not to develop that taste for that sugar called corruption because you will end up being diabetic and the country becomes diabetic too,” the pontiff said.

The message comes barely days after the President Kenyatta reshuffled his Cabinet, dropping six of his ministers who had been suspended on allegations of corruption.

During his reception address at State house, President Kenyatta had called on the pontiff to pray not only for the country but for him too, in order to win the fight against corruption.

Pope Francis also reminded Kenyans that his (Vatican) administration was also struggling with the vice.

“In the Vatican, there are cases of corruption. It’s something that eats inside. It’s like sugar, sweet and easy,” he said.


On tribalism, the pontiff asked for reconciliation and peaceful co-existence.

“Tribalism can mean having your hands hidden behind your backs. It can only become with your ear and your heart. Let us stand up as a sign against bad tribalism. We are all a nation and that’s how our hearts must be,” the head of Catholic Church said.

“The first means of communication is your facial expression, being close to others, friendship with others. I urge you all to speak well amongst yourselves, smile and relate with each other.”

Land grabbing

Earlier at the at the St Joseph Church in Kangemi the pontiff touched the grabbing of public land in the country saying that the unjust distribution of land (if not in this neighbourhood, certainly in others) leads in many cases to higher costs of living as entire families are forced to to pay excessive and unfair rents for utterly unfit housing.  

“I am also aware of the serious problem posed by faceless “private developers” who hoard areas of land and even attempt to appropriate the playgrounds of your children’s schools,” Pope Francis said, amidst cheers from the congregation.

This was in reference to the a Nairobi school, Lang’ata Road Primary playground debacle that saw the school children tear-gassed as they defended the grabbing of their playground. 

SOURCE: The East African