Nairobi

By Wilson Abiri

The long serving Catholic Archbisop Emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki is dead.

Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki, 88, died on Tuesday morning after a long illness.

 “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,” a statement from the Archdiocese of Nairobi released to the media read.

He was the first Catholic Bishop to celebrate his episcopal golden jubilee in Kenya in August last year since his ordination.

 “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,” a statement from the Archdiocese of Nairobi released to the media read.

He was thrust into the limelight when he opposed the oppressive Kanu regime that forced voters to queue or line up behind their candidate during the 1988 general elections.

He also risked his life to support victims of the tribal clashes in the Rift Valley.

Fr. Lawrence Njoroge, who was Administrative Secretary of Archbishop Ndingi Mwana ‘a Nzeki at the Holy Family Basilica between 1998-2001 writes that:

“He sat for the Cambridge School Certificate privately and returned excellent results before admission to university to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History.”

Fr. Njoroge also reveals that during Nzeki’s tenure as Bishop of Machakos, Nakuru and Nairobi, he invested heavily in education.

The clergy was born in December 25, 1931 in Mwala Machakos, Kenya and joined Kiserian Seminary after completing his Secondary school education.He was ordained as a priest in 1961 and served under then Archbishop JJ McCarthy of the Nairobi Diocese.

The late Catholic Archbisop Emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki

Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki was ordained as a Bishop 1969 and served the dioceses of Machakos and Nakuru before being appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Nairobi in 1996 as an assistant to the late Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga.

He succeeded Cardinal Otunga on April 21, 1997 as the Archbishop of Nairobi and then retired by Pope Benedict XVI on October 6, 2007 after attaining the age of 75 years.

The current Cardinal John Njue who was his assistant in Nakuru succeeded him. Ndingi was one of the clergymen who played an active role in the struggle for the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in Kenya.

He is best remembered for his fearless confrontation of the provincial administration and the police for their role in political clashes of 1992 where 2000 died.

Ends

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