Heavy task for preachers opposed to draft
Posted Sunday, April 25 2010 at 17:58
The church leadership has a tough task ahead if it is to convince its followers to oppose the inclusion of kadhi’s courts in the draft constitution.
According to an opinion poll by Synovate, inclusion of the kadhi’s courts garnered a strong support from Kenyans, with 61 per cent of respondents saying they supported the move. Only 30 per cent opposed it.
The poll further found that 59 per cent of Kenyans think Christian leaders are not justified to campaign for a ‘No’ vote. Only 34 per cent of respondents said they supported the clerics.
The church hierarchy has dismissed the results of the poll as inconclusive and irrelevant since a majority of Kenyans have not read the draft.
“The church has received the results of the pinion poll with sadness because it was done when most Kenyans have not accessed the draft let alone read it.
“The poll is, therefore, not conclusive and is irrelevant at the moment,” said NCCK general-secretary, the Rev Peter Karanja, in an interview.
Churches are opposed to the retention of kadhi’s courts in the proposed constitution under Article 169 and 170, which limit their authority to disputes over personal matters, marriage, divorce or inheritance, where all the parties are Muslim and agree to take the case to a Kadhi.
Churches have also objected to the section of Article 26, which empowers doctors to end a pregnancy if it endangers the woman’s life or she needs emergency treatment.