Pope to sleep at Vatican embassy in Lavington
Pope Francis will not head to a five-star hotel to rest after his 8-hour flight from Rome but the Vatican embassy in Lavington.
Francis, who arrives at the JKIA on Wednesday evening, will stay at the embassy for the two nights he will be in Nairobi.
Workers cleaned the embassy’s compound on Monday but there was limited security.
General Motors has custom-made an open van popular with the Pope, who is known to ditch protocol and conduct his tours from a point of humility.
Following his arrival, Francis will head to State House, Nairobi, where President Uhuru Kenyatta will host him at 6pm. At 6:30pm he will hold a meeting with Uhuru and other leaders.
At the University of Nairobi on Thursday, he will lead an open-air mass which more than a million faithful, dignitaries and the President are expected to attend.
More than 2,800 Catholic faithful from the Coast will travel to Nairobi on Wednesday to see Pope Francis, said Mombasa Archbishop Martin Kivuva.
“About 20 buses carrying youth and another 21 buses carrying other faithful will join us in the Peace Caravan to Nairobi in the morning,” he said during a press conference at the Mombasa Catholic Cathedral Church.
The coastal pilgrims will travel in a group after an inter-faith prayer rally at the Tudor Pastoral Centre on Tuesday, Kivuva said.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, county commissioner Nelson Marwa, imams and other religious leaders are expected to attend the rally.
The caravan will make several on the journey to Nairobi; faithful are expected to stop at areas including Voi and Makindu for about an hour.
Citing coordination with the county commissioners of Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Taita Taveta, Kivuva said security for the pilgrims travelling to Nairobi has been assured.
The caravan has been sponsored by the Catholic Church, well-wishers, local hotels and other organisations, said Mombasa Archdiocese Vicar General Father Wilybard Lagho.
Lagho said an Islamic organisation from Cremona in Italy has written a letter supporting the Peace Caravan.
The Hope Islamic Centre has also condemned the major terrorist attacks in Kenya and the recent event in Paris, France, he said.
“There is no justification for those who killed the innocent victims in Paris and the 147 students in Garissa,” read part of the letter.
The group said Islam is a religion of peace and true believers should commit to demonstrating it.
“That is why we support the imams in Kenya that decided to support the Peace Caravan together with the Christians,” it said.
Licio D’Avossa, an Italian national and the President of the Cremona for Kenya Organisation, called for global war on terror.
“Terrorism is not religion, this is a criminal act, we should fight it together,” he said.