Information reaching the office of the RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA from her Correspondent in Nairobi, the political capital of Kenya has indicated that as part of the efforts to quell the raging fire in this country, the Nairobi Archdiocese has decided to gather Youths on “Saba Saba” Sunday for Holy Mass, Voicing Concerns amid anti-govt Protests.

The Chaplaincy of Kenya’s Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi (ADN) has invited members of the Youth Serving Christ (YSC) and Young Catholic Adults (YCA) for Holy Mass and a forum for them to join other Kenyan youths voicing grievances against President William Samoei Ruto-led government on July 7, “Saba Saba” Sunday.

In Kenya, “Saba Saba”, a Swahili expression for “seven seven” that refers to July 7, is remembered as the day when nationwide protests against one-party dictatorship and demands for free elections took place.

Saba Saba was formed on 7 July 1990, when Kenyans including “progressive nationalist elements and a newer generation of democracy activists” took to the streets in a move that eventually forced then-President Daniel Arap Moi to repeal Section 2A of the Constitution, making Kenya a multi-party state. 

In a letter announcing the Saba Saba convention of the various groups of ADN Catholic youths of ADN, the Archdiocesan Youth Chaplain, Fr. Victor Mbuthia, shares the motivation of the July 7 afternoon gathering that is being organized under three hashtags: #listenToUs, #YoungPeopleforabetterKenya, and #NairobiCatholicYouthforabetterKenya.

The planned meeting follows the Generation Z (Gen Z)-led protests against the controversial Finance Bill 2024, which started on June 18, the day the Bill was tabled in Kenya’s parliament for debate. Days later, the initially peaceful demonstrations turned violent, with Kenyan police seen opening fire on protesters, resulting in dozens of deaths and destruction of property.

While President Ruto succumbed to mounting public pressure and declined to assent to the Bill, Kenya’s youths have put the government on notice with additional concerns they say must be addressed, including corruption, the high cost of living, and unemployment among others.

In his letter, the Youth Chaplain of ADN says the leadership of the Kenyan Metropolitan See recognizes and supports the youth-led peaceful protests and the accompanying grievances, and adds, “We have been in conversation with youth leaders and our Bishops to see what can be done, how we can come together to voice our concerns and add our voice to that of the Young People of our Nation and maybe even to each other.”

“We therefore propose to have such by celebrating mass on this Saba Saba Sunday with all the Archdiocese of Nairobi GenZs (YSC) and Millennials (YCA),” Fr. Victor says, inviting the Catholic youths to convene at the Holy Family Minor Basilica of ADN from 2 p.m.

The Holy Mass is to be “followed by a session to voice our concerns,” the Kenyan Catholic Priest says in his Thursday, July 4 statement.

“Youth Patrons and Matrons together with youth chaplains are invited to celebrate Mass and have the session after Mass to voice our concerns and pray for the nation, its leadership, and the young people who died,” he further says.

In the one-page letter, Fr. Victor calls upon “Parish Priests to allow as many young people as would want to come” to participate in the planned Saba Saba Sunday afternoon events at Holy Family Cathedral of ADN.

He also requests leaders of Parishes of ADN to free YSC and YCA members from duties and meetings so they can be part of the Sunday afternoon gathering.

“Let us allow our young people this opportunity and support them to make it happen,” Fr. Victor says.

On June 23, members of the YSC members of Holy Family Minor Basilica of ADN made public their active involvement in the Gen Z-led protests.

Catholic Church leaders in Kenya have expressed their support for the course of the Gen Z-led protests, members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) lauding youths as Kenya’s hope.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu