Politicians were barred from making any political statements during rthe late President Mwai Kibaki’s state funeral service at Nyayo stadium on Friday.
While conveying the message at the beginning of the service, archbishop Philip Anyolo said this was in keeping with the family of the late president.
“We wish to request that we shall have no political overtones or politics,” Anyolo said.
The same message was reiterated at the end of the prayer service by Bishop Martin Kivuva.
“It was the desire of the family of this great statesman that today’s sendoff of this great statesman our dear beloved President Emilio Mwai Kibaki should be free of any political speeches,” Kivuva said.
“The Catholic Church endorses fully this desire as we have been trying to keep our places of worship only for God,” he added.
During a tour of the venue of the state funeral on Saturday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i who chairs the funeral committee said that Kibaki’s family had made three wishes.
The CS did not, however, elaborate the nature of the wishes.
“I wish to ask that those of us who will attend the service respect those wishes,” Matiang’i said.
However, when he rose to speak, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga said it was not possible not to speak politics at the sendoff ceremony of a politician.
Raila said many politicians at the event shared his plight on that.
“My plight today is like that of a father of a padre who is asked to eulogize a bishop but not to talk about the bishop’s religiosity or religion,” Raila said.
“I don’t know how you eulogize a politician without talking politics,” Raila added.