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Church holds memorial mass for River Enziu victims

The Catholic Diocese of Kitui has organised a memorial service for the 33 victims who lost their lives on December 4 last year after their vehicle plunged into the flooded river Enziu in Mwingi.

The Mwingi Catholic Church’s St Cecilia choir and two Catholic brothers were on their way to Nuu Catholic Church to attend a wedding ceremony. Catholic Church Kitui Bishop Joseph Mwongela asked the faithful to remember and pray for the victims.

“Let’s pray and remember our brothers and sisters who perished in the Enziu bridge tragedy, we know they are rejoicing in heaven and we are happy that we will join and rejoice with them in heaven when our time comes,” said Mwongela.

Mwongela asked all political leaders present to serve citizens diligently as service to humanity is service to God. “We must learn as Christians to live a holy life and live a positive mark, when given a chance to lead, let’s serve humans, don’t loot be God fearing Christians,” he added.

Kitui Governor Dr Julius Malombe promised to start a conversation with the church leaders to see how the government can help the affected families as some families and survivors are still struggling to cope with traumatic experience one year later.

Malombe thanked church leaders for organising the memorial service, as he promised to offer his personal contribution to St Cecilia choir to help in spreading the gospel.

Mwingi Central Member of Parliament Gideon Mulyungi noted that although the construction of the Enziu Bridge is ongoing the concerned authorities need to relook at why it’s taking more than estimated time to be completed.

“I have heard your cries and will inquire why the Enziu Bridge is taking forever to be completed, will seek answers from relevant authorities and government,” said Mulyungi.

He asked the congregation to pray for the family members who lost their relatives during the tragedy.

“Bishop Mwongela, I will seek answers why the bridge is not completed in due course, please help me bring this to President Ruto’s attention because he loves the church and will definitely give you an ear,” added Mulyungi.

Church leadership confirmed that 90 per cent of the victims’ families were compensated by the insurance. The church is also organising a fun drive to help these families cope with the experience of the traumatic tragedy.

Last year, government allocated more than Sh 500 million for the construction of the bridge that was to be completed this month.

The ceremony was presided over by the Pope’s representative to Kenya and South Sudan the Most Reverend Nuncio Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria van Megan and graced by Kitui’s Catholic archbishop Rt. Rev. Mwongela.

They also opened a grotto at Good Shepherd Catholic church grounds, Mwingi town.

By Charles Matacho

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