The Catholic Church on Thursday refused to hold a requiem Mass for activist Caroline Mwatha.
Postmortem results showed she died as a result of excessive bleeding caused by possible abortion. The Church has a strong stand against abortion.
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops General Secretary Father Daniel Rono on Friday told the Star that life begins at conception and that abortion is wrong.
“We as the Catholic Church do no support abortion. Life is precious and God-given. Life starts from conception,” he said.
Similar sentiments were shared by National Council of Churches of Kenya Deputy General Secretary Reverend Nelson Makanda.
“The sanctity of the foetus must be protected and that starts from conception. Once fertilisation occurs that is a human being and the child must be protected to its natural death. Anyone who aborts is a murderer,” he said.
Caroline went missing on February 6. After a futile search by her family and colleagues, the body was found at the City Mortuary on February 12.
On Thursday, her family and human rights activists paid their last respects at Freedom Corner in Nairobi.
Rev Timothy Njoya of the PCEA presided over the memorial Mass.
Caroline’s husband Joshua Ochieng’, her parents, former Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris, former Cabinet Minister Martha Karua attended the Mass. Activists Boniface Mwangi and Okiya Omtatah were also present.
Also Read:Abortion is killing the baby, Catholic doctor tells judges
Read::Haki Africa wants inquest into Caroline Mwatha’s death
Speaker after speaker eulogised Caroline as a dedicated and fierce human rights defender.
Her father Stanslaus Mbai said, “Caroline feared for her life because of the work she, though she never admitted receiving threats. I told her to stop the work but she insisted that was her calling.”
“She visited us on New Year and told us not to tell our friends and neighbours the kind of work she does.”
Most of the speakers said she might have been killed because of her work.
“Carol was murdered during a month in which we celebrate Dedan Kimathi, Robert Ouko, Pio Gama Pinto, Malcolm X and many other human right defenders. Carol will be immortalised. She is the only woman among men.” Mutunga said.
“When I heard the police narrative, I knew it wasn’t the truth, even if the police tell you the truth by mistake, you should not believe them,” he said.
Wilfred Olal, Caroline’s former colleague at Dandora Justice Centre, said,” After we are done with her burial, the next chapter will begin. From Monday our only agenda will be seeking justice for Caroline.”
Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid said, “We don’t buy the theory the police are trying to sell to Kenyans. The body was brought to City Mortuary after police heard we were planning a demonstration.”
Caroline will be buried on the February 23 at Asembo Bay in Siaya.
Click here for the latest political news