Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Kangemi slums in the outskirt of Kenya's capital Nairobi, November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Noor Khamis
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Kangemi slums in the outskirt of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

(the STAR) — Pope Francis has condemned ‘faceless private developers’ saying he is aware that they “even attempt to appropriate the playgrounds of your children’s schools”.

“These are wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth”, he said, noting God gave the earth for the sustenance of all humans, without exclusion or favouritism.

“The minorities selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries,” he said during Mass at St John the Worker Catholic Church in Kangemi on Friday.

“We see the unjust distribution of land (if not in this neighbourhood, certainly in others) which leads in many cases to entire families having to pay excessive and unfair rents for utterly unfit housing.”

The Pope said the vice has resulted in other problems including lack of access to infrastructure and basic services such as schools, roads, hospitals and workshops for artists and craftsmen.

He also decried the lack of electricity, toilets, recreational and sport centres, sewers, drains, studios and refuse collection services.

A woman walks past closed shops early in the morning while wearing a tee shirt that reads, "Welcome to Kenya Pope Francis" at the Kangemi slums on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi, November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Noor Khamis
A woman walks past closed shops early in the morning while wearing a tee shirt that reads, “Welcome to Kenya Pope Francis” at the Kangemi slums on the outskirts of the capital Nairobi, November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

The Pope made the remarks on the last day of his tour of Kenya.

Land woes have left schools rioting and the public raising complaints against public officials and authorities.

Notable land scandal includes the Weston hotel and Langata Road Primary School, where pupils were teargassed by police during a protest. The hotel linked to Deputy President William Ruto has denied grabbing the school’s playground.

Francis said to deny a family water, under any bureaucratic pretext whatsoever, “is a great injustice, especially when one profits from this need”.

“I ask God that the authorities may embark, together with you, upon the path of social inclusion, education, sport, community action, and the protection of families, for this is the only guarantee of peace,” he said.

“This situation of indifference by poor neighbourhoods is aggravated when violence spreads and criminal organizations, serving economic or political interests, use children and young people as “canon fodder” for their ruthless business affairs.”

The Pope proposed renewed attention to urban integration, as opposed to elimination, paternalism, indifference or mere containment.

He said solid initiatives must be implemented, as opposed to the mere” proclamation pfo rights.

Francis asked Christians, pastors in particular, “to renew their missionary zeal” and respond to injustice by helping others with their problems and protecting all the yields of societal efforts.

3 thoughts on “Pope Francis condemns landgrabbing in Kenya, says it is ‘sin against God’

  1. God Bless you Pope Francis for standing with the powerless and victims of land-grab. I am from Ethiopia. Even though church leaders in Ethiopia know the fact that millions are victims of land-grab in Ethiopia, they chose to stand with the powerful land grabbers rather than standing for the powerless as stated in the scriptures.

    By standing with powerful illegal land-grabbers, church leaders in Ethiopia lost moral ground as what they do collides with the message of scriptures. Instead of standing with the victims of land-grab, these church leaders go around and bless the grabbed land for the grabbers. As a Christian, I think this is a disgrace. I ask you, Pope Francis, to pray for the church leaders in Ethiopia, so that they come-back to the teachings of the scripture and break silence by standing with the victims of land-grab and encourage the victims to not allow the powerful take away their land.

    Gaaddisaa

    1. How true! Religious leaders in Ethiopia always stand with the rich and powerful. They don’t speak for the poor. They preach to the poor but stand with and serve criminal dictators. They’re disgrace!

    2. Dont be fooled my people this evil man is behind all the mess that is going on in the world..open your eyes people stop being deceived.

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