The late Catholic Archbishop emeritus Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki will be laid to rest in a private ceremony next week on Tuesday, April 7.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Catholic Church said a requiem mass will be held at the Holy Family Basilica from 10am followed by burial thereafter.
Only about 100 people will be allowed at the funeral including representatives of the deceased’s family from Mwala area in Machakos County, Kenya Catholic Conference of Bishops, Diocese of Machakos, Diocese of Nakuru and the Archdiocese of Nairobi.
“It will be a private funeral ceremony. Not more than 100 persons will be allowed at the funeral,” the press statement said.
Preparations are underway to ensure strict measures are followed in line with the government’s directive on social distancing as a measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Reports indicate that the ceremony will be brief, and is expected not to last for more than an hour.
Local TV stations will be allowed to broadcast the event live to allow Catholic faithful and Kenyans at large to follow the proceedings.
As of Wednesday, it was not clear if President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will attend the funeral service in the wake of COVID-19 health crisis that has claimed one life and infected 81 others.
The cleric passed away on Monday night at the age of 88 in Nairobi.
Sources intimated to a local media that he had been ailing for some time but was mostly suffering from age-related complications.
Born on December 25, 1931, in Mwala Machakos, the retired archbishop joined Kiserian Seminary soon after completing his primary school education.
In 1961, then a priest, the deceased served under then-Archbishop JJ McCarthy of the Nairobi Diocese.
8 years later, Nzeki was ordained as a bishop and served the Machakos and Nakuru dioceses in the same capacity.
Read Also: Kenya Confirms 22 More Cases of Covid-19
In 1996, he was appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Nairobi in as an assistant to then-Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga.
The retired Archbishop of the Roman Catholic succeeded Cardinal Otunga as the archbishop of Nairobi on April 21, 1997.
Some 10 years later, Nzeki was retired by Pope Benedict XVI at the age of 75.
He was replaced by Cardinal John Njue.