15 March 2004

Kenya: Supkem: Expect Fire Over Kadhi's Courts

Nairobi — The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) has warned of trouble if the contentious issue of the Kadhi's court is subjected to a referendum.

Adan Wachu, the Supkem Secretary-General, said the Kadhis court had been in the constitution since July 1966, and that Islam was a way of life and posed no threat to the country.

Wachu said that as custodians of the Islamic faith, they would ensure that the Kadhis court was entrenched in the constitution.

"Even if it means going through fire or blood shed, we as Muslims will fight for our rights. We will not tolerate being subjected to referendums. No one will take our rights away from us."

The inclusion of the Kadhi's court in the Zero Draft drew outrage from the Christian society, prompting over 300 Christian religious leaders to demonstrate outside the Bomas of Kenya last Monday.

The leaders accused CKRC Secretary Patrick Lumumba of masterminding the inclusion and entrenchment of the Kadhi's courts in the constitution.

Consequently, the church leaders vowed to resist the entrenchment of the Kadhi's courts in the new constitution.

The proposed change in the review Act now states among other issues that the Electoral Commission has to conduct a referendum within 90 days. That is aYes or No vote and this could be the dead end for the Kadhi's court, said Wachu.

Meanwhile, review delegates must adopt the compromise proposals presented by the consensus building team or lose the process to Parliament, a Cabinet Minister has warned, adds Michiki Ngamau.

Lands and Settlement Minister Amos Kimunya said yesterday that no more time will be wasted with delegates who have been compromised by individuals to manipulate the review process.

Kimunya claimed that a cross section of Bomas delegates have been bribed to rubber stamp the creation of a powerful premier post which is not the wish of the majority.

The Minister who was speaking at Malewa trading centre in his Kipipiri constituency said some prominent personalities in the Government have been spotted dishing out cash handouts to delegates at night to corrupt them.

Copyright © 2004 The East African Standard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.