Kenya Islamic Courts Update

The controversy over the inclusion of Islamic courts in Kenya‘s proposed constitution continues to fascinate me. It brings into play so many issues about Christian-Muslim relations, constitutionalism, and Islamic law in Africa. One hell of a dissertation topic too, for anyone looking to do research on Kenya.

Matt Brown has an analysis of the controversy in The National and Eunice Machuhi and Jillo Kadida of The Daily Nation write, if I understand them correctly, that an earlier court ruling against shari’a courts will have no effect on the relevant provisions in the constitution:

On Monday, Law Society of Kenya chairman Kenneth Akide said the High Court ruling in Mombasa had clearly shown that the Judiciary has no powers to declare any section of the Constitution to be unconstitutional.

“The High Court ruling has recognised the fact that courts cannot interfere in constitution-making and emphasised the fact that this process is the preserve of Parliament,” he said.

“The Ruling puts the review process back on track and lays down the correct jurisprudence of constitution-making process in the country,” he said.

Mr Akide said the ruling had made it clear that the process of constitution-making was a preserve of the people and not courts.

NTV Kenya reports on poll results showing that 63% of Kenyans say they will vote for the constitution in the coming referendum, with voters fairly evenly divided around the shari’a courts issue. That suggests the shari’a courts will stay in the constitution. That means an end to the current round of controversy, perhaps, but maybe not an end to the issue in the long run.

1 thought on “Kenya Islamic Courts Update

  1. Pingback: Kenya’s Constitutional Controversy Turns Violent « Sahel Blog

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