Authors and Book Reviews  

August 14 - 20, 2009


 Coastweek   Kenya

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he was known to shoot from the hip when he
spoke his mind and air opinions he believed in


Coastweek -- "A Voice Unstilled" book co-authored by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation's (KBC) Editor-in-Chief Waithaka Waihenya, and Father Ndikaru wa Teresia.

The book on the life of Nairobi Archdiocese emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana 'aNzeki reveals that he differed sharply with his fellow bishops because he was honest about his feelings that sometimes led him not to take into consideration how others take his sentiments.

The book entitled: 'A Voice Unstilled' co-authored by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation's (KBC) Editor-in-Chief Waithaka Waihenya, and Father Ndikaru wa Teresia, reveals that among his fellow bishops he was known to shoot from the hip when he spoke his mind and air opinions he believed in.

His difficulties with his fellow bishops came to the fore during the regime of former president Daniel arap Moi when he could tell him on his face to stop the evil deeds his government was doing, especially in fuelling ethnic cleansing in 1990s.

Coastweek -- 'A Voice
- cover on the
book on retired Archbishop
Ndingi Raphael Ndingi
Mwana 'aNzeki.

Fr Lawrence Njoroge in his review quotes: "It has long been assumed that when Christian leaders met President Moi in 1992 they spoke with one voice, in true ecumenical spirit.

"But 'A Voice Unstilled' reveals there were sharp divisions among the bishops when they came face to face with the President".

Even though Ndingi is considered a fearless shepherd when it comes to say nothing but the truth, his critics see him as ethnically compromised and politically partisan, especially his days at Christ the King Cathedral in Nakuru when he appeared to have taken sides in the ethnic confrontations of the early 1990s by allegedly favouring Kikkuyu communities and neglecting the Kalanjins.

The critics argue that it is why Ndingi has been in good books with President Kibaki's administration which he openly supported during 2005 constitutional referendum.

Ningigi's 'holy lies' were terrific in this book.

It narrates how he was forced to tell lies when the life Professor Wangare Mathai was in danger.

Maathai was by then one of the most vocal activists and the Government had outlawed all her meetings.

The book reveals how Ndingi arranged with Father Ndikaru wa Teresia and financial secretary Father Francis Mirango to sneak the professor into Nakuru and provide her with accommodation.

The aim was to rescue her from the well-executed plot by Moi government.

Born around 1931 in Mwala division, Machakos district, Ndingi's father was Mr Ngila Nzeki and mother Maria Muthoki.

He was baptised into the Catholic faith in 1945 at Kabaa Mission.

He started his schooling at Myanyani Primary School, Kabaa Mission School and Etikoni Primary School respectively.

After his Common Entrance Exam in 1945, Ndingi was admitted to Kabaa Mission School before proceeding to Kilimambogo Seminary.

In 1949 he joined Kilimambogo Teachers College to train as a teacher.

Later he moved to Kibocho in Moshi, Tanzania to join a seminary before being sent to Thomas Aquinas Senior seminary in Morogoro, Tanzania to study theology.
He was ordained into priesthood on January 1 1961.

In 1969 he was consecrated bishop by Pope Paul VI in Kampala and posted to his native Machakos diocese before being transferred to Nakuru, a hotbed of politics at that time in 1971.

On the day he took over as the Nakuru Bishop on December 1971, he wrote to all the priests informing them that he had taken possession of the diocese that afternoon and look forward to close co-operation with them all in the work of God.

After 24 years as the Nakuru he was appointed Coadjutor of Nairobi Archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1996 before taking over upon the retirement of Maurice Cardinal Otunga in 1997, position he held until 2007 upon the attainment of the mandatory retirement age of 75.

In April 2008, President Mwai Kibaki appointed him the chairman of the Committee for the Resettlement of the Internally Displaced Person to oversee the return home of victims of the 2007 post election violence.

More details on "A Voice Unstilled" can be obtained from:

People for Peace in Africa (PPA),  P O Box 14877, Nairobi 00800,  Westlands Kenya.      Tel: 254-20-4441372

E-Mail:   news@ppa.or.ke  
Website: http://www.ppa.or.ke 




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