MOMBASA, Kenya, Sept 5 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has asked faith organisations in the country not to allow the ongoing debate on the new inclusion of Kadhis courts in the draft new constitution to derail the constitutional making processes.
Mr Musyoka has encouraged religious groups to embrace dialogue, understanding and tolerance as a sure way of resolving any differences and not to allow this to generate suspicion amongst them. He said Kadhis’s courts were part of the country’s history going back to pre-independence days.
“I am sure we can reach consensus through a healthy dialogue and respect for each others views to the satisfaction of all instead of engaging our people in endless tassels over contentious issues that can be solved in trust and good faith,” said the VP when he graced the introduction session of the new SUPKEM Coast branch office bearers in Mombasa on Friday.
Religious leaders who spoke at the occasion said that entrenching the Khadhi’s courts in the constitution would not in any way amount to introducing sharia laws into the country.
“We have been having Khadhi’s courts since time immemorial and it should not be an issue now but a right to the Muslims who understand deeply its role in Islam faith,” Sharif Mukhdhar, chairman of SUPKEM coast branch said.
The VP emphasised on the need for all Kenyans to support peace and harmonious co-existence in the society in order to build a cohesive nation devoid of hatred and unnecessary suspicions.
Mr Musyoka assured that Kenya will continue to respect freedom of worship as provided for in the current constitution.
“Kenyans should not allow themselves to be divided along ethnicity, race or creed. Let us work for peace and unity within ourselves to foster a strong integration of the East African Region,” he added.
Mr Musyoka stated that the country will never resort to State religion, noting that such a system of government would not succeed due to the nature of Kenya’s diversity.
Responding to a request by the Muslim leaders, Mr Musyoka said the government would recruit additional sheikhs and madrasa maalims in the county’s prisons services to provide the much needed spiritual guidance, which he noted was essential in the rehabilitation of offenders.
The leaders, however, asked the government to allow them drill water boreholes to supplement the supply of the precious commodity without being subjected to unnecessary levies.