Orthodox head lauds leaders
Archbishop Makarios Tyllerides of the Orthodox Church has praised politicians for preaching peace and unity following the helicopter crash that killed a Cabinet minister and his assistant and four other Kenyans. He was speaking during the funeral service of the vice chairman of Orthodox church John Gakera Kimani at Rironi church. He was accompanied by Innocentios Bykatonda from Uganda and Bishop Mathew Geniun.
Makarios said in the past two weeks ago, the country has been hit by hard times following the death of two key people in the government. He said it is encouraging to see politicians across the political divide unite and urge Kenyans to be calm following the death of Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his deputy Orwa Ojode and four others. “We have seen how the country has gone through a hard time in the past two weeks, but I am happy that the leaders have been calling upon Kenyans to be peaceful and remain united,” said Makarios.
The cleric urged the leaders to maintain the same spirit and preach peace for the sake of the country. He said the church had a role to play in maintaining well being of its community. “That is why I urge people to be joined together with love, unity and peace and cultivate more of forgiveness as our goal. But this will only start with us the priests and all servants of God as a good example. When we live in separation, hatred will be among us,” he added.
He praised Gakera for living a prayerful life saying he is patient and peaceful and full of humility. “I loved his patience and peacefulness that he always carried with him which was evident in his face. He served as the vice chairman of the church diligently because he loved to live with people even if he is high ranked in the church,” said Makarios.
Gakera died at the age of 85 years and has been survived by his wife Papadhia Njeri and Seven children. During his times, he started off as a primary school teacher, and during the declaration of emergency he was detained at Manyani and later founded together with others the Chieko east Africa Company Limited. In his service, Gakera embraced his work as the Chairman of the Orthodox Church Youth of Kenya (OCYAK) in 1976 and then ordained as priest in 1983.