MIGORI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has cautioned religious leaders in the country to shun trivial politics that could to derail the constitutional making process.
He told the clerics to avoid debates which were likely to generate religious intolerance and rivalry between Christians and Muslims and instead foster harmonious coexistence among divergent faiths.
The premier singled out the raging debate and opposition by a section of clergies over proposals to include the Kadhi courts in the draft constitution as a recipe for a gridlock in the review process and urged leaders to tone down their hardline stance.
“The debate over the Kadhi courts is misplaced and unwarranted because the rules only apply to Muslims and deals with issues pertaining to the institution of marriage and inheritance which cannot affect a non believer in any way whatsoever,” he said.
Mr Odinga recommended that the Kadhi courts be imported into the new draft constitution as it was in the colonial constitution to unlock and settle the brewing impasse, and asked opponents of the secular document give Kenyans a break.
He called upon fellow citizens to seize the historical moment the country was going through to push the new constitution and other institutional reforms required to address the inadequacies found in the current governance structures.
Mr Odinga sent the appeal when he presided over a funds drive towards the construction of a mausoleum for the spiritual leader and founder of the Legio Maria church Simeon Ondetto at Got Kwer village in Migori district.
He urged members of the Legio Maria church to jealously guard the unity of the faith for the posterity and spread of the religious outfit in the continent but warned that the ongoing leadership wrangles could lead to disintegration.
Mr Odinga told the congregation of worshipers at the historical holy Got Kwer hill to respect the coronation of Pope Romanos Ongombe Ligit for the sake of unity in wake of open public squabbles among the church leadership.
Cabinet Ministers James Orengo, Otieno Kajwang, and Dalmas Otieno led several Members of Parliament from the region to the occasion.
Other notable personalities were Legio Maria cardinal Wilson Owino and Rapheal Otieno both of whom have in recent times contested the leadership of the church in local courts and elicited apprehension and division among the worshippers.