Kenya – Pope Francis blamed corrupt Kenyan officials of directing a “new form of imperialism” with practices that have included stealing land from one of the capital’s schoolyards.
Talking at St. Joseph’s congregation in Nairobi’s Kangemi ghetto on Friday morning, part of his first official visit to Africa, the pontiff asked Kenya’s leaders to help the huge number of peopling who live below the poverty line and suffer from unfair distribution of land.
“I am always mindful of the problem posed by faceless private designers who hoard areas of land and even try to appropriate the playgrounds of your children’s schools,” he told the assemblage.
It was a reference to January occasions at Langata Road Primary School, where an area was fenced off from children and dissidents who said it had been gained by a “group of professional land grabbers” were scattered by police. Deputy President William Ruto later denied charges he’d been involved in an attempt a acquire part of the land.
Worshiper at the packed church, most of whom had waited since before dawn, broke out in ululations as Pope Francis made his address.
The pope additionally criticized the “minorities who cling to power and wealth, who egotistically misuse while a growing majority is forced to leave.” Every human being is more essential than the “God of money,” he said.
“I want in the first place to maintain these values which you practice, values which are not cited in the stock exchange, are not subject to speculation, and have no market price,” he told worshipers.
The government of Kenya has shut streets in the city and deployed over 20,000 people, half of them security personnel, to keep Pope Francis secure during the three-day visit that ends Friday. He will after visit neighboring Uganda and the Central African Republic.
Grievances over area have caused violence in Kenya in each vote aside from one since 1992, when multiparty democracy was introduced in the nation, the world’s biggest black tea exporter and East Africa’s greatest economy.