Police said 46-year old priest Philip Valayam of Roman Catholic Church who also worked as professor at Tangaza College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, was attacked by gangsters while driving home after celebrating a mid-night mass. He was shot in the early hours of Sunday, December 25, ironically near the post of a security firm, CISA noted.
« The thugs had no time to rob him as personnel from the security post raised alarm and police arrived soon, » Priest Matua of the Don Bosco told journalists Tuesday, December 26. It was unclear if any arrests were made and police officials could not immediately be reached for clarification
Police reportedly took him to hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival. Salesian priests and other Christians and religious representatives gathered for « a solemn Eucharist Celebration » at the spot where the priest was shot,
Arrangements were reportedly being made to transport his body to India. Philip Valayam was born March 23, 1958, and ordained priest on December 29, 1987 in India. He came to Eastern Africa in 1998 and before working in Kenya served at the Salesian Seminary in Tanzania, as professor of philosophy.
After a break for studies in Rome in 2002, he returned to the region and was assigned to Don Bosco Youth Educational Services and appointed Academic Advisor to the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and other institutes. »Until his death he was ministering to various religious congregations and youth groups in various secondary and tertiary levels.
Catholic officials said his death was a reminder of the insecurity in Kenya Uganda Tanzania and other regions where missionaries work. Priest Valayam joins a “long list of Church clergy who have been killed in Kenya since the murder of Father John Kaiser of the Mill Hill Missionaries, » said the Don Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services (BEAMS) Kaiser had been investigating allegations of murder, rape and corruption at the heart of the Kenyan government before he died in 2000.