12 March 2004

Kenya: Kadhi's Courts Retained in the Draft Constitution

Nairobi — The kadhis' courts were yesterday retained in the draft constitution.

Delegates voted overwhelmingly to establish the courts, subordinate to the High Court.

They also resolved that the Chief Kadhi will sit as member of the Judicial Service Commission and that suspended judges will go home on half pay.

Delegate David Oginde's motion to have the courts replaced with religious groups courts was shot down.

* Delegates resolved yesterday to sit tomorrow to go through the remaining chapters of the draft constitution.

They agreed to a proposal by conference chairman Yash Pal Ghai to extend the sitting to beat the March 19 deadline.

In the absence of any contentious issues, delegates were able to go through chapters in the morning.

The chairman of the consensus building group, Catholic Bishop Philip Sulumeti, reported that he had made progress on the contentious issue of sharing power between the president and the prime minister.

Bishop Sulumeti said the group met for the first time on Wednesday night from 7pm to 1am yesterday.

Cabinet ministers Kiraitu Murungi, Raila Odinga, Muskari Kombo and Amos Kimunya and assistant minister Andrew Ligale attended the meeting.

* Baringo MP Gideon Moi wants the Government to release the balance of the Sh7 million earmarked for rehabilitating an irrigation scheme in his constituency.

He asked the ministry of Water to release the Sh3 million meant for the Perkerra irrigation scheme ahead of minister Martha Karua's visit to the area today.

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