Kenya: Church and State at Crossroads

A Kenyan Court has poked a hole in the current constitution, outlawing Kadhi Courts that govern how Kenyan Muslims settle matters such as marriage when both parties are Muslims. This matter is enshrined in Section 66 of the Kenyan Constitution, which has been in operation since Kenya’s Independence. How this ruling affects the current  Draft Constitution, which still has another hot summer before the public votes for/against it is yet unclear.

This was a ruling in a 2004-case filed by 26 clergymen. It is obvious that the clergy in my Christian faith are trying to achieve by Constitutional/Political means matters they have failed to achieve through rigorous evangelization. Yet Kenya is a multi-faith Nation.

Things are at a boil in Nairobi as the protagonists are grappling with the implications of the ruling by our learned bench–which essentially dictates how certain Kenyans live their faith. This is not the kind of Kenya Moi, Kenyatta, Ngala, Odinga, Oneko, Muliro, Pio Gama, Gai, Nassir, Ngei, Mboya, Shikuku, Kiano, Kibaki,  and many others, who since left us or alive, envisioned or fought for. I thought that when we went to school, we lived by the motto ” live and let live,” and that the least (in numbers) among faiths and ethnicities can thrive in freedom.That is what has held the many enthicities and nationalities in Kenya together through good and hard times.

 Kenyans, we have a chance to re-affirm the spirit of coexistence, which is at the core of Section 66 of the Kenyan Constitution, when we vote in the new Kenya Constitution 2010 in a few months. courts firestorm


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