By Rose Achiego

Political and religious leaders have been challenged to unite the country which has been experiencing divisions along tribal, political and religious lines.

In a homily delivered at the Consolata Shrine in Nairobi during Mass to mark the World Day of Communication on 1st of June 2014, the Bishop Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Commission for Social Communications, Rt. Rev. Martin Kivuva, called on the leaders to put the interests of the Nation first, saying that many Kenyans are concerned over increased incidences of greed and corruption. He added that most leaders prefer to take shortcuts and paying themselves off handsomely at the expense of poor Kenyans.

Bishop Kivuva, who is also the Bishop of Machakos, appealed to Christians to protect and pray for the unity of the nation and choose to live in peace with each other, reminding them that Christ will always be with them.

Bishop Kivuva encouraged leaders to stand up against the plight of the poor and use the devolved funds for the intended purposes instead of embezzling or underutilizing them. “It is unfortunate that sometimes the funds are returned to the national treasury over non-utilization, yet many Kenyans are suffering and yet such funds could be used to support projects for the poor if the leaders planned well,” said Bishop Kivuva.

He observed that over 80% of Kenyans profess the Christian faith which calls on the faithful to be honest and shun corruption.

Bishop Kivuva lauded the media for their role in uniting Kenyans. He noted that during the struggle for independence, the media played a major role in bringing the people together, and that Kenyans still experience the same sense of brotherhood although in a less pronounced way. Bishop Kivuva was quick to single out the advantages and disadvantages posed by the media, urging the people to only use the media positively.

The mass was graced by Former President Mwai Kibaki.

The theme for this year’s World Communication Day was “Catholic Media for a Culture of Peace in the Family and in the World.”

The day was preceded by two days of Catholic Media Festivals which included competition activities among Catholic sponsored primary and secondary schools, Catholic learning institutions and youth groups in various parishes. Activities for the first day included poetry, song and dance for the primary and secondary schools while the second day included film/radio production and photography for college and university students. The three best performers took home various prizes while each group represented received a certificate of participation. The festivals were officially opened by the General Secretary of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, Rev. Fr. Vincent Wambugu, on Friday 30th May 2013.

The participating Catholic Media Houses included Radio Waumini, Paulines Publications Africa, The Seed, Don Bosco Beams, Ukweli Video Productions, Catholic Information Services Africa (CISA) and the National Mirror.

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