By KBC reporters/agencies
President Uhuru Kenyatta has humbled himself to prayers calling on his holiness Pope Francis to pray for Kenya as it moves to tackle corruption that is threatening its social fabric.
Speaking Wednesday during a grand reception at state house to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis, the President said Kenya like the church is undergoing trying moments but expressed confidence that the nation will overcome the challenges.
“Civil society, media and leaders from across our political social spectrum have come together and made their views known and in the hearts of every Kenyan we know that we must win this war…it is up to me to lead it and Holy Father, I ask for your prayer,” Pray for me. Pray for Kenya” said Kenyatta.
The Holy father who is in Kenya for three days pledged his support to the county terming the nation a pillar of hope in the region.
Quoting the bible, President Kenyatta said it was time for Kenya to heal and move forward towards progress.
“If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
The head of state acknowledged the role played by the Catholic Church in the socio-economic development of the country and initiatives spearheaded by the pontiff in particular.
“8000 Schools 5 Colleges and one university are run by the Catholic Church in Kenya. I am also a beneficiary of the catholic education”
President Kenyatta would pledge his governments support to these initiatives.
In his speech Pope Francis urged all Kenyans to work for peace and forgiveness and to heal ethnic, religious and economic divisions.
“Experience shows that violence, conflict and terrorism feed on fear, mistrust and the despair born of poverty and frustration,” he said.
“Ultimately, the struggle against these enemies of peace must be carried on by men and women who fearlessly believe in, and bear honest witness to, the great spiritual and political values which inspired the birth of the nation.”
Kenyatta didn’t refer to the attack either, but spoke generally about the threat posed by Islamic extremists, who on Wednesday struck Tunisia after attacks in recent days in Mali and Paris.
“As we fight this war, recent events around the world have indeed taught us that we must do even more to bring unity and understanding between faiths, between ethnicities, between races but also between nations,” he said.
The Pope is aiming to bring a message of peace and reconciliation to Africa, but is also stressing some issues close to his heart including the need to fight poverty, protect the environment and encourage good governance.
He urged Kenya’s political, social and economic leaders to work with “integrity and transparency” for the common good, a clear reference to Kenya’s poor record with corruption.
“I ask you in particular to show genuine concern for the needs of the poor, the aspirations of the young, and a just distribution of the natural and human resources with which the Creator has blessed your country,” Pope Francis said.