Kenya: Italian Priest Gets Kenya Citizenship After 50 Years of Service

28 February 2021

Nyeri — They say good deeds are always recognised by right-thinking minds and nations.

Imagine being presented with permeant citizenship of a foreign county by a Cabinet Minister just as you celebrate fifty years of service as a church minister.

Well, that is what happened to Father Romano Filipe of Mugunda Catholic Church in Nyeri on Sunday when Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe presented him with a citizenship certificate as a surprise gift during his fifty years of priesthood anniversary.

The journey of being a Kenyan citizen for Romano, who has now earned third name "Mureithi" started fifty years ago when he was posted to Narumoro as a priest after being ordained in his home country Italy.

At Narumoro he served for seventeen years before moving to Mugunda catholic parish where he has established schools and a water company which has transformed the arid and semi arid area.

"When Romano came here, this area was very remote in fact many of us were hungry and would always rely on him to provide us with relief food, but to our surprise, he looked for donors and now we have water for irrigation and domestic use in addition he set up schools and our kids are now educated that is why he was given citizenship," said Monica Njeri, a resident, "we now want him to live among us."

While presenting the certificate to the elated faithful, Kagwe said that Romano had expressed his wish to live and die at Mugunda which has become his home now hence the government's move to grant his wish.

"Romano wants to live among you and that is why we as a government have given him this certificate which now gives him all rights enjoyed by Kenyans, " said Kagwe.

On his part, Kieni MP Kanini Keega said that Romano deserves a Head of State commendation in the rank of Elder of Burning Spear.

"This is a man who has done a lot for this community stretching all the way to Laikipia he needs more than just citizenship," the MP said, "I am happy that I have a new voter now."

Accepting the citizenship, Romano said that he is happy to live and serve the people of Mugunda which is now his home.

"I will always live among you because you are my family and that is all I need until I die," he said.

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