Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) – The Church of Kenya has requested the reopening of investigations into the murder of Fr. John Anthony Kaiser, the American Mill Hill Missionary, whose 10th anniversary of death was celebrated Aug. 19 (see Fides 18/8/2010).
Making the request to reopen the investigation, on behalf of the Catholic community, was his Excellency Bishop Zachaeus Okoth, Archbishop of Kisumu and President of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, during the memorial Mass which he himself presided.
"As we converge here today to mark the tenth anniversary of the late Fr. Kaiser, we pray hard that one day, the truth will be told as to who killed our beloved brother," Okoth said
Archbishop Okoth further observed that although on on August 1, 2007, one of the Kenyan Courts involved in the inquest on the late Fr. Kaiser had recommended the immediate institution of fresh investigations by police in order to fill in the blanks and to plug all the loopholes by the court in order to conclusively determine the identity of those who killed Fr. Kaiser, "no substantial action had been taken in regards to these findings and recommendations."
In a statement, read to the congregation by the regional superior of Mill Hill Missionary Congregation in Kenya, Fr. Liam Cummins, the Superior General of the Mill Hill Congregation worldwide, Fr. Anthony Chantry, said it was distressing and disturbing to see that for the last three years, there has been no evident progress in bringing to justice those responsible for Fr. Kaiser’s murder.
"On behalf of those who continue to seek justice for Fr. Kaiser, I call upon the Government of Kenya to do all in its power to find, try, and punish those responsible for Fr. Kaiser’s murder. To this end, I strongly urge the Government of the United States of America to ensure that the FBI co-operate fully in these new investigations," he stressed. A previous FBI investigation concluded that Fr. Kaiser had committed suicide, a conclusion that was firmly rejected by the Church and by all those who knew the missionary.
The late Fr. Kaiser was vocal about the ethnic evictions in the Rift Valley. He was a critic of former President Daniel Moi’s regime and came into the national limelight in the 90s when he vigorously resisted the eviction of the internally displaced people who camped at Maela in Narok, following their eviction from Enoosupukia. According to Fr. Kaiser, the number of refugees from the Rift Valley, between 1986 and 1995, was one million. (LM) (Agenzia Fides 21/8/2010)