President Uhuru Kenyatta Saturday led Kenyans in sending off the late Rt Rev Cornelius Korir praising him as a peacemaker who never tired in his quest to foster peace and unity.
The President and his deputy William Ruto joined thousands of Kenyans who gathered at the Eldoret Sports Club for the funeral service, which was led by Cardinal John Njue and other clergy from different parts of the country.
The Head of State said Bishop Korir will be remembered for his unwavering desire to see a united and prosperous Kenya.
“We have lost a man who loved Kenyans and used all the opportunities he got to preach peace,” said the President.
The Head of State said the Bishop knew that a strong economy greatly contributed to peace and did everything in his power to empower people in areas affected by conflict.
“He set up economic activities to benefit all communities,” said the President.
President Kenyatta called on Kenyans to emulate the Bishop’s respect for human dignity irrespective of ethnic or religious background of the people he dealt with.
“If we emulate Bishop Korir, Kenya would be a great country. Let us live in peace. As President, I will use all my powers to ensure there is peace and unity. They are the foundation for development,” said the President.
The President also called on politicians to resolve their differences through constitutionally acceptable means instead of setting Kenyans against one another.
He said Kenya was a democratic country which has constitutional avenues – Parliament and the courts – of resolving political disputes.
The President said he has proved his respect for the Constitutional processes by accepting the nullification of his clear victory in the August 8 General Election.
“Let us resolve our problems through our Constitution and let us compete in peace,” said the President.
Deputy President Ruto said he will stand with the President as the Head of State continues to build bridges of friendship and brotherhood in the country.
He said Kenya is more united today than it was in 2013 when the Jubilee Government came into power despite new threats from the opposition.
He said Bishop Korir played a big role in creating peace in conflict areas.
“He taught us unity, he taught us to refuse, resist and reject division, ethnicity and violence; and he was firm,” said the DP. “That is why we celebrate his life as a champion of peace.”
He said Bishop Korir was successful in peace building because of his firm character and disregard of political correctness and convenience.
Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago led local leaders in praising the Bishop as a spiritual and community leader who was committed to the unity of all Kenyans.
Messages from Pope Francis and retired President Moi, among other dignitaries, were read at the funeral service.
Bishop Korir was later buried at the Eldoret Catholic cathedral.