19 February 2013

Kenya: Muslim Clerics Disown Endorsement of Uhuru, Say Members Free to Choose

A section of Coast Muslim clerics yesterday denounced an earlier endorsement of Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta by some of their colleagues.

The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya through its national chairperson Idris Mohammed said last week's endorsement should be viewed as their secretary general's personal opinion not the group's stand.

CIPK organising secretary Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa accused Raila of failing to honour memorandum of understanding and declared Muslims will support the Jubilee coalition.

The more than 50 imams under the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, Kenya Council of Ulamas and CIPK said Muslim voters will not support any candidate.

Idris said its members are free to vote for any candidate because the organisation has not agreed on any one hopeful. "If we wanted to support any presidential candidate we would have called for a national meeting and declared our preferred man. These are just individual statements," said Idris.

"There was no consultation with the other regional branches. So for now our followers should choose whoever has the best policies." Supkem through its Mombasa chairperson Mukdhar Khitamy said the Muslim votes was not up for sale to any bidder. Khitamy called on Muslims to choose leaders who have their interests at heart and of integrity.

"The biggest problem in Coast is the historical land issues. Chose leaders who will address this issue and not just by empty promises," he said. Khitamy said Muslims would not sign an MoU with any politicians as they did in 2007.

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