I need your prayers as I take on corruption, Kenyatta tells Pope Francis

Pope Francis and President Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi

Pope Francis and President Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi

President Uhuru Kenyatta has requested Pope Francis to pray for him and his government as they embark on the war to combat endemic corruption.

Seeking the Pope’s divine intervention, President Kenyatta said his government, like the Catholic Church, is facing monumental challenges of corruption and graft.

“We want to combat vices of corruption which sacrifice people and our environment in pursuit of illegal profit and misdirects resources, sows hatred and divides the people,” he said.

Quoting 2 Cor 7:14 in Bible, Kenyatta said Wednesday at State House in Nairobi after a private meeting with the Pople that “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Kenyatta conceded corruption was a huge problem facing Kenya and that the issue has taken a toll on his government.

“Civil society, media and leaders from across our political social spectrum have come together and made their views known and in the hearts of every Kenyan we know that we must win this war…it is up to me to lead it and Holy Father, I ask for your prayer,”  President Kenyatta told Pope Francis drawing cheers, applause and laughter from officials and the media present.

In light of recent global terrorist attacks, Kenyatta’s speech touched on the need to foster unity and understanding amongst and between faiths, races, and ethnicities.

This week President Kenyatta unveiled the government strategy to fight corruption calling the vice a national security threat. He reshuffled his cabinet Tuesday vowing the new government is well equipped to tackle corruption among other issues.

Kenyatta’s measures have received praise from diplomats who had resolved to sanction all officials implicated in corruption scandals.

“I am glad that corruption has to be fought by everyone and am very optimistic about the future of this country,” said Christian Turner, outgoing UK High Commissioner to Kenya.

Pope Francis in in Kenya as part of his maiden Africa trip, he will meet with top leaders in Kenya, address the youths, and disadvantaged population leaving in Kenya’s slums. From Kenya, he will head to Uganda and Central Africa Republic before he returns to the Vatican November 30th .