Nic Hailey “saddened” by death of Bishop Cornelius Korir

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey has Tweeted that he was “very saddened” to learn of the death of renowned Eldoret’s Catholic Bishop Cornelius Korir.

The 67-year-old Bishop was pronounced dead on Monday morning after arriving at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret following a short illness.

The Chairperson of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Chairman Philip Anyolo of Homa Bay Diocese described his death as a big blow to the diocese and the Catholic Church at large, describing him as a “person who was very close to very many people.” He added that there will be prayers daily at the diocese as part of burial preparations but no tentative date has been given.

Alex Tolgos, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor sent his condolences to the entire church, describing the deceased a “great man and leader.”

Bishop Cornelius Korir was born in Segutiet, Bomet District, in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya. He was ordained a priest in 1982 and consecrated as bishop of the Diocese of Eldoret on 2nd June, 1990.

Bishop Korir presided over the church at a time of many turbulent times in the North Rift during post-election violence in 1992, 1997 and 2007, playing a leading role in peace-building and uniting the communities living in this area. He received the distinguished service medal in recognition of this work, bestowed upon him by President Mwai Kibaki.

During his tenure, the church witnessed a sharp increase in church membership, and development of health and education institutions sponsored by the Catholic church within the diocese of Eldoret.

President Uhuru Kenyatta described Bishop Korir as a “great religious leader and an excellent peacemaker.”

“I join the Catholic Church in mourning a great religious leader whose exemplary service calls for emulation by others.

“In this hour of sorrow, and on behalf of the people and Government of Kenya, I convey my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the Catholic church, and the family and friends of the late Bishop Korir.”

– President Kenyatta

President Kenyatta said Bishop Korir’s work for peace and understanding between Kenyans of different faiths deserves the warmest commendation, adding that the Bishop discharged his duties of leadership.