By Rose Achiego
As the Church in Kenya commemorates the demise of Mill Hill Missionary, Rev. Fr. John Anthony Kaiser, who was killed on 24th August 2000 and his body dumped along the Nakuru Naivasha Highway, Ngong Diocese bishop Rt. Rev. John Oballa Owaa, has expressed disappointment with the long delay in apprehending and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Presiding over Sunday Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Ngong, Bishop Oballa said there can be no justice unless Fr. Kaiser’s killers are arrested and charged.
“It is now 20 years since Fr. Kaiser was killed. His killers have not been brought to book till today. Where is justice?” he posed.
The Kenya Government had opened an inquest into Fr. Kaiser’s death at the request of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) which ended on 12th June, 2007 after hearing from 111 witnesses. The then Presiding Magistrate, Maureen Odero, ruled on 1st August, 2007 that Fr. Kaiser was murdered and that the ‘suicide theory’ as previously presented was based on pre-conceived notion. However, she stated that she could not, on the basis of evidence tabled before her, point out with certainty who the killers were.
Bishop Oballa who is chairman of KCCB’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) expressed concern that many people continue to be killed for their religious stand in many parts of the world adding that in some places, churches and religious symbols are attacked and even destroyed.
“This unchecked hatred must be addressed. We live in a world that grows cold, divided and hostile; a world where religious persecutions abound,” he said.
With the theme, Solidarity and Justice for the Vulnerable, the Catholic Church in Kenya prays for the soul of Fr. John Kaiser, who was murdered for speaking up against the exploitation of the weak. As a missionary, he served the poor and advocated for justice for the oppressed and respect for human rights.
In 1993, at the height of ethnic violence and land clashes in Kenya, Fr. Kaiser was working among displaced persons in Maela Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Nakuru Diocese. These people were displaced from Enosupukia in Ngong Diocese. Later in his missionary work, he served in Lolgorian Parish – Ngong Diocese.
He was born in Perham, Minnesota in the United States of America on November 23, 1932. Ordained in St. Louis for the Mill Hill Fathers in 1964, he was sent to their mission in Kenya the same year.
He ministered in Kisii Diocese for 20 years, and later in Nakuru and Ngong Dioceses. Read More