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Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki is dead

Most Rev Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’ Nzeki, former Emeritus Archbishop of Nairobi is dead.

His demise was announced by John Cardinal Njue on Tuesday morning urging Kenyans to pray for the repose of his soul.

“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,” read the short message.

Outspoken and a household name in his heyday, Archbishop Mwana a’Nzeki was the quintessence of a fearless leader.

He served in many roles and places: assistant priest at Makadara, Nairobi; Education Secretary-General of Catholic Bishops; student at Rochester College, New York; Bishop of Machakos, later of Nakuru and finally the Archbishop of Nairobi.

He entered the national limelight when he opposed the Kanu government’s directive that forced voters to queue or line up behind their candidate.

This bold image was reinforced in 1992 when Mwana a’Nzeki risked his life by supporting the victims of tribal clashes in the Rift Valley.

During his tenure as Bishop of Machakos, at Nakuru and as Archbishop of Nairobi, he invested heavily in education, not only of priests but also sought resources and opportunities for many people to further their education in various professions.

In 2019, he celebrated 50 years since his ordination as bishop by Pope Paul VI in Uganda during the pontiff’s historic visit to Africa.

Records show that no Catholic bishop has celebrated their episcopal golden jubilee in Kenya. This was a first, a record for the Church in the country.

Since his appointment as Bishop of Machakos in 1969, the prelate remains one of the best known Church leaders in the nation.