The best Catholic cardinal Kenya never had the retired Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki is dead after a long illness.
Reports indicate that the 88-year-old was taken ill at the Archdiocesan Clergy home where he was residing and was taken to Mater hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
“A sombre morning as his Eminence John Cardinal Njue has announced the passing on of His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki. Let us pray for the repose of his soul,” a statement from the Archdiocese of Nairobi reads.
President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a message of condolence to the family describing him as as a loving and outstanding man of God whose servant leadership will be missed by Kenyans.
Supreme Leader H E Raila Odinga said the retired Archbishop was one of the brightest lights to have graced the nation.
“Kenyans knew they could always count on him to stand and speak out for truth and justice whatever the threat that posed to his life. As a country we will miss his distinguished service and dedication to humanity,” H E Raila Odinga said.
In August 2019, the retired Archbishop celebrated 50 years since his ordination.
He was the first Catholic bishop to celebrate his episcopal golden jubilee in Kenya.
The late Archibishop become popular late 1980s when he opposed President Moi’s Kanu government directive that forced voters to queue or line up behind their candidate.
He also risked his life by supporting victims of the tribal clashes in the Rift Valley.
Fr. Lawrence Njoroge, who was Administrative Secretary of Archbishop Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki at the Holy Family Basilica between 1998-2001 writes that:
“He sat for the Cambridge School Certificate privately and returned excellent results before admission to university to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History.”
Fr. Njoroge also reveals that during Nzeki’s tenure as Bishop of Machakos, Nakuru and Nairobi, he invested heavily in education.
May God rest his soul in eternal peace