Leaders from North Rift region including Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday called for peaceful co-existence among Kenyans irrespective of their political affiliation.
They said although Kenyans support different political parties it should not affect communities staying side by side as they’ve done for many years.
“It is impressive that people in this region turned out peacefully to vote for Jubilee despite having different political backgrounds. This shows that we are politically maturing as a nation,” said Mr Ruto.
The Deputy President assured Kenyans that it would continue to unite Kenyans and ensure development across the country, just as it did during its first term.
“Now that the chapter of politics is behind us, I want to assure the country that we will continue with our unity and development among all Kenyans as we did during our last term,” said Mr Ruto.
They also paid glowing tribute to the departed Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop Cornelius Korir who never tired in rooting for peace, unity and reconciliation.
The leaders said the late Bishop Korir has played an important role in preaching peace and reconciliation among communities witnessing instability in the region, urging the residents to emulate his work.
Speaking at the Eldoret’s Cathedral during a mass service dedicated for the late Bishop Korir, the leaders called for peace, reconciliation and tolerance among all communities living in the region in honour of the prelate.
Other leaders included Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin-Gishu), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Mrs Rachel Ruto.
MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Silas Tiren (Moiben), Caleb Kositany (Soy), Janet Rotich (Turbo), Cornelly Serem (Aldai), William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Prof Margaret Kamar (Uasin-Gishu), Swarup Mishra (Kesses), Wilson Kogo (Chesumei), Kiprotich Cherargei (Nandi), Tecla Tum (Women Rep, Nandi), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Vincent Tuwei (Mosop), Nakara Lodepe (Turkana Central) and Daniel Rono (Keiyo South) were also present.
“Kenyans will remember Bishop Korir for peace, reconciliation and unity among all the different ethnic communities living in the North Rift region,” said Mr Ruto.
The Deputy President said Bishop Korir was instrumental in reconciling people in areas, which experienced conflicts citing banditry and cattle rustling, saying he made sure that he achieved his peace mission.
He said for the period he has been at the helm of the Catholic Church in the Eldoret Diocese, Bishop Korir a renowned peacemaker, has initiated various projects aimed at giving alternatives to causes of conflicts in the region especially in education and health and social development.
“As we celebrate the life of this great man who was a peacemaker, who has always build bridges of friendship and brotherhood, it is important for all of us to emulate his work and regard each other as brothers and sisters,” said Mr Ruto.
Condoling the family, the Catholic faithful and Kenyans in general, the Deputy President described the late Bishop as a man of God who cared for all and he will be remembered for the good he has done when he served the Lord.
The leaders said the region has lost a dedicated prelate who was always committed to peace and stability irrespective of circumstances.
Governor Sang said the late Bishop has asked him to make sure that residents along the Kisumu/Nandi/Kericho borders lived harmoniously.
“It was the wish of the late Bishop that calm, peace and stability is restored at the common border with our brothers in Kisumu and Kericho. This is what we are now doing,” said Mr Sang.
Mr Tolgos said until his death, Bishop Korir was spearheading peace efforts among members of Pokot and Marakwet communities.
“I want to make it clear that the peace we are enjoying along the Marakwet/Pokot border is courtesy of the late Korir who worked tirelessly with grassroots leaders in looking for lasting peace to insecurity,” said Mr Tolgos.
The Deputy President, at the same time, thanked residents in the region for turning out in large numbers to peacefully vote for Jubilee during the October 26 fresh presidential elections.
Mr Cherargei criticized the boycott of some commodities by Nasa in protest to the just concluded fresh presidential elections last month, saying Kenyans should instead boycott violence and not products.
“I want to ask Kenyans to ignore calls by the Opposition to boycott some products in the country but instead we should boycott any forms of violence,” said Mr Cherargei.
Fr. William Kosgey who is the Eldoret’s Catholic Diocese Figure General said the late Bishop had deep devotion for Eucharist and peaceful coexistence among all communities in the region.
“The late Bishop Korir believed in grassroots approach in searching for peace with more urge on dialogue when solving conflicts,” said Fr. Kosgey