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Kenya : Christian-Muslim rift widens over Kenya ‘s draft law

ICC Note

Christian leaders are opposed to the move by Muslims for recognition of Islamic courts in the country’s constitution.

11/29/2009 Kenya (Afrique en ligne)-The publication of a draft constitution for Kenya, recognising the presence of Muslim civil courts known as the Kadhi courts, has once again widened the Christian-Muslim split in the East African nation.

Kenyan Church leaders have dismissed the creation of the Kadhi Courts, as currently proposed in the draft constitution, as a ploy to “elevate one religion over the other,” while the Islamic clerics ha ve warned that they would mobilise the Muslim community to reject a new draft that omits the Kadhi courts.

Kenyans have been discussing the prospect of a new constitution. The last attempt to have a constitution, in November 2005, ended with a majority vote rejecting the draft constitution, which proposed to create the office of the Chief Kadhi, to enjoy similar constitutional powers as the Chief Justice.

Christians voiced their opposition to such a proposal and branded it a “contentious” issue, among other thorny issues which included the powers granted to the President to hire and sack the Prime Minister at will.


“The constitution should maintain equality,” said Anglican Church of Kenya’s top cleric Rev Eliud Wabukala. He said the Kadhi courts, currently constituted by an act of parliament, should remain as such.

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