The Murder of the Honourable Priest Kenny in Shashemene/Ethiopia

The Murder of the Honourable Priest Kenny in Shashemene/Ethiopia

It was a sad day for the Rastafari community, when it had to suffer the loss of a faithful son of the most High Jah Rastafari, when he was brutally Murdered by the hands of the cold blooded Killers.

Priest Kenny (Kenneth Floyd Lockhart) a Rastafari bretheren of the Bobo Shanti Order of the faith, had returned to his original Homeland Ethiopia / Africa from the Bahamas.

He was 55 years old, a member of the Ethiopian Black International Congress Church of Salvation. He had recently repatriated just over a year and few months ago. Ever since he had returned, he took up the active post as the doorkeeper on the Bobo Shanti grounds, proving to be a valuable source of strength to Honourable Priest Paul, who for the past years have been solely occupying and maintaining the Church grounds. He  continued his work being known as another agitator for the rights of Rastafari Bretheren when last year wrote a letter to the Organization of African Unity, stating our need to obtain full respect and legal status in Ethiopia, Thus enabling dialogue pertaining to our rights, Priest Kenny was the key person in obtaining this link.

On Sunday April 28th 2002, at approximately 7:55pm, while holding his post at the gate of the grounds, two ex-employees, who during the course of the week had a dispute with the Honourable Priest Paul and Honourable Priest Kenny concerning the fact that they were dismissed form the job months ago but was now Terrorizing the Priests for Money and this resulted in threats being made on the life of Honourable Priest Kenny. This incident was reported to the local police.

The assailants managed to enter the compound and brutally attack Honourable Priest Kenny who was resting in his hammock.

In the confrontation that ensued in the dark, Honourable Priest Kenny was heard shouting for help from Honourable Priest Paul who was apparently not on the compound at the time. Honourable Priest Paul’s son, who was in the compound but further away, responded to the call. As he approached, he heard two gunshots fired and the sound of the retreating Murderers scuffling into the nearby bushes. When he reached Honourable Priest Kenny it was then he realised that he had been fatally shot in Cold Blood, bullets piercing his lungs and heart and lying in a pool of Blood.

Immediately the Honourable Priest Paul and others rushed to the police station to inform them of what had happened. By the time the police arrived Honourable Priest Kenny was already a lost life.

News of this tragic incident brought bereavement and shock to the community. On the following day a large number of Rastafari Bretherens and Sistrens as well as local Ethiopians gathered on the Church grounds not far from where he was brutally MURDERED, to give their support and solidarity to our Community in Mourning.

Around the compound, small groups gathered, some venting their anger, others observing in silence. The Honourable Priest Kenny was rested in state inside the convention centre, and those wishing to pay their last respects, were free to enter and leave. Everyone played his or her part in making the day’s event manifest smoothly.

Just prior to removing the Honourable Priest Kenny, the Bobo Shanti priests conducted a short service in the opposite room that concluded with chants of the 23rd Psalms as the congregation left the church and moved towards Honourable Priest Kenny’s final resting place. The Honourable Priest Kenny was placed in a truck that slowly followed the procession.

Honourable Priest Isaiah, Honourable Bongo Rocky and Honourable Ras Kabi recited chants and prayers, shortly, after which the Honourable Priest Kenny was laid to rest.

This tragic event has brought about an unparalleled unity among the Rastafari Community in Shashamane. Although unforeseen circumstances cannot be prevented, it is paramount that the loss of our brother will not go in vain but will bring us all closer together as a community in achieving and accomplishing our goals, whilst putting in place those preventative measures that have proven necessary for our continued survival!

Through the powers of the Most high Haile Selassie1st Jah Rastafari, we shall be granted the victory of good over evil.

As a member of the Community I see whereby atrocities like this must never repeat itself.

Let us ensure that the History of injustice against our Community be URGENTLY dealt with