By Njoki Githinji
It is the afternoon of Friday August 28, a day before the consecration of 52-year-old Fr Joseph Maluki Mwongela as the fourth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui. A dusty road, lined with plantations of pigeon peas welcome us to the sleepy Kalimani village in the semi-arid county of Kitui.
Mzee Maurice Mwongela’s homestead is abuzz with activity as young people clean the compound, women winnow grains, and children play. Maurice Mwongela father to the bishop to be is not able to talk to us because of ill health but we meet his mother, Mrs Veronica Mwongela, who still recalls clearly the day her son informed her of his intention to join priesthood.
“He came from a youth seminar in Nakuru one evening and told me ‘Mum, I had planned that after I finish school I would buy you a cow for milk, two bulls for tilling the farm, a donkey that you will be going to fetch water with, then build you a three roomed house, but I won’t be able to do that anymore,’” she recalls.
“I was surprised because I thought my child had a terminal illness,” she says, “Then he told me he wanted to become a priest….<<readmore>>