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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The 10 critical errors Wako’s staff failed to slip into the draft law

As a people who fear only God, hot porridge and electricity, Kenyans should be dismayed that after 30 days, the staff at the Attorney General’s office could only insert one miserable error in the proposed constitution.

Since it is an established fact that the people of Kenya do not know what is good for them, the institutions that think on their behalf, such as the National Security Intelligence Service and the Church, should have worked in concert to ensure that the next constitution does not give create dangerous loopholes that could lead them into self-destruction. Having failed to pump sense into the public so that their submissions would stand up for what is good, having failed to intimidate the Committee of Experts on the constitution review into doing right, and having failed to persuade Parliament to make the changes desirable for the creation of a truly Christian nation, editorial insertions appeared to be the last option left to the Church and the NSIS.

The Christians at the AG’s chambers particularly failed their faith by neglecting to insert these 10 little alterations in the proposed constitution in the course of editing:

1. International treaties that Kenya has signed and ratified — without ever intending to honour them — should not become law. This would mean that Kenya cannot be bound by the requirements of the international law on crimes against humanity, protecting children’s rights and the requirement that women be treated as full human beings.

2. The clause stating that there shall be no state religion should have been changed to read, ‘The State shall treat all religions equally’, meaning that if Christian churches are required to be registered before starting operations, even atheists would have to have a constitution and articles of association. The same would apply to Dini ya Musambwa, Tent of the Living God and Hinduism.

3. Stating that the State shall treat all religions equally also means it shall have licence to favour some and victimise others. Thus, this clause should have the word ‘not’ inserted to negate its import.

4. The whole article on freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion should have disappeared and no one would have missed it. By allowing all manner of people to exercise the freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion, the proposed constitution limits the opportunities for Christians to evangelise, to make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Muslims, Hindus, heathens and other people should be open to baptism and conversion.

5. In place of the foregoing article, the editors at the AG’s chambers should have inserted a clause allowing Christians to convert people of other faiths to their religion – even if doing so necessitates harassment, intimidation and trespassing on their rights. The same article should have allowed for institutions run by Christians to deny access, employment and other benefits to people who do not confess Christ as their personal saviour.

6. The article on freedom of religion takes away the right to discriminate the issuance of medicine and relief food to only those who profess the true faith. It is so open, as soon as it passed, sword-carrying Sikhs would start queuing at the High Court demanding to be appointed as Praise and Worship Leader at the most successful churches. The next thing we know, Muslims will be demanding to produce the next Pope. We cannot have that.

7. The clause that places the kadhi’s courts as a junior court in the constitution should have been dropped entirely. Although the current constitution allows the kadhi’s courts to operate all over Kenya, or what was known as the former protectorate, it does not hurt anyone to keep repeating that they have been limited to the 10-mile coastal strip. Nairobi, where there are kadhi’s courts, is in the 10-mile coastal strip.

8. Because the draft allows people who choose to go before the Kadhi’s courts to have their marriage, divorce and family inheritance determined according to Muslim law, that makes them more equal than other Kenyans. Christians cannot allow that to happen until they are able to have their own court.

9. For the avoidance of doubt, mortuary attendants and First Aid volunteers should be recognised as trained health professionals so that when anyone reads the constitution, and the fact that these individuals might make decisions about the health of the mother, they would be horrified. Since the church has always spoken out against the death penalty, extra-judicial killings and police execution squads, its voice on the taking of human life while still in formation would remain unchallenged.

10. The section on amending the constitution has the capacity to absorb a small typographical error that would reduce the 1 million signatures to 100,000. It only requires the omission of one zero. Since the Bible says that God helps those who help themselves, and the Christians at the AG’s chambers have neglected to their duty, all Christians soldiers should use every opportunity to make Kenya a safer, more prosperous and moral nation by putting the truth about the proposed constitution on an austere sliming diet. Why would the church let a little thing like the truth get in the way of a good fight?
(The logic and much of the material in this article was generously supplied by the Kenya Christian Church Leaders, www.kenyachristianchurchforum.org, who have more ‘facts’ about the draft constitution.)

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