Leaders have eulogized the late Bishop Cornelius Korir as a peacemaker who was on the forefront to ensure Kenyans coexisted in peace. Led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, thousands attended the funeral mass of the late Eldoret Catholic Diocese Bishop at Eldoret Sports Ground in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County. The mass which was led by Cardinal John Njue, was graced by Catholic Bishops and clerics from other denominations.
Addressing listeners and mourners, President Uhuru Kenyatta recalled how the late Bishop urged him to set up a peace caravan to bring Kenyans together, “He said we should organize a peace caravan especially along the borders where communities that had clashed before or were victims of cattle rustling lived,” said the President, “He was not only keen on establishing a peaceful coexistence but also wanted us to build schools and set up economic activities along the borders to enhance development.”
He said the late Korir not only spoke about peace but practised what he preached. President Kenyatta urged Kenyans to take up his mantle of peace and carry on his legacy, “Let us equally do everything we can to emulate what he did and how he lived his life.” He affirmed that Kenyans should emulate his respect for human dignity, his respect for people regardless of their colour and ethnicity and his desire to see a peaceful Kenya, “If we can take a piece of that then Kenya can and will be a great nation,” said the President.
He further urged Kenyans to live in peace and unity, saying that people can differ politically given that it’s part of democracy but that shouldn’t cause violence or hate, “As the President I will use all my strength and ability to ensure we have peace and unity in Kenya because they are the foundations of development,” he said.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto said the late Bishop Korir was a man of his word who never weakened his stance, “He said what he believed in a language and manner that showed he was unapologetic about is position and we came to respect that,” he said.
The Deputy President said Korir’s life teachings passed the message of unity, and peace, “The life he lived taught us to refuse, resist and reject division, to hate violence and that’s why we celebrate his life today as a champion of peace in all our dioceses and as a country.”
He reiterated that the country won’t go down the path of violence again, given the late Bishop called for peace after the 2007-2008 post-election violence, “We said it in 2007 and we are committed to ensuring that blood will never be shed again or property be destroyed on account of politics or political contests,” said DP Ruto, saying that the teachings of Korir still stand strong and Kenyans must recommit themselves to ensure that the country doesn’t go down the violence path again.
Other leaders who were present included Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa among others. The late Bishop ws laid to rest inside a tomb at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Eldoret.