The late Archbishop Raphael S. Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki will be remembered for his relentless push for social justice, democracy and the respect for African traditional values.
As a man of the cloth, Ndingi fearlessly spoke on critical matters affecting the country such as ethnic antagonism and the HIV/AIDs pandemic.
Close associates of the late Archbishop paint a picture of a man who always stood for the truth at whatever cost.
For almost half a century he dedicated his life to service, both to the Catholic Church and his country.
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Despite being overlooked by the Vatican for Cardinal, his close associates say the late Archbishop remained steadfast in his divine calling.
The late Archbishop is widely revered for having fearlessly spoken on critical matters affecting the country and society in general.
In a 2009 biography titled A Voice Unstilled, co-authored by former Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya, the late Archbishop is described as a man of prodigious energy who played a crucial, yet insufficiently appreciated role in the fight for social justice.
The bishop also led the Catholic Church in opposing the use of condoms and controlled parenting in the country which he viewed as going against the dictates of the teachings.
Waihenya says Ndingi Mwana’a Nzeki will also be remembered for his fiercely independent mind and as man who never shied away from speaking the truth no matter the consequences.
Elsewhere, President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned the late prelate as a loving and outstanding man of God whose servant leadership shall be missed by Kenyans.
“Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki is a Kenyan icon, a bastion of peace and a man of true faith who answered his lifelong calling as minister of the gospel and a shepherd of mankind” said the Head of State.
Besides his role as a religious leader, the President said the late Archbishop dedicated himself to the protection of the weak and the fight for justice, and never shied away from doing the right thing, and in doing so, he distinguished himself as a servant leader and role model.
He added: His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki was a true servant of God who loved all people and served our country with great zeal and humility.
Since his ordination as a priest in 1961, His Grace Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki faithfully served the Catholic Church with distinction and never compromised his calling even at the most trying and challenging times in the history of our country”.
The President was joined by other leaders from across the Country in paying tribute to the outspoken Archbishop with Deputy President William Ruto describing Mwana a’Nzeki as a towering and progressive spiritual figure who relentlessly advocated for equal justice in our society.
“A moral enthusiast, focused and selfless leader with enduring love for everyone, Mwana a’Nzeki was humble, persuasive and prolific; he will be fondly remembered for working for the greater good of the people of Kenya.” Ruto said.
ODM party leader Raila Odinga was not left out either saying, “Ndingi was one of the brightest lights to have graced our nation in our time. 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”.
Ndingi was one of the brightest lights to have graced our nation in our time. 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. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/bzVm0gIyQs
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 31, 2020
ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi on the other hand described Mwana a’Nzeki as “A man of God who stood for righteousness, championed the cause of the poor and downtrodden.”
The Retired Archbishop died in Nairobi at the age of 88.