The Atheists in Kenya Society on Thursday said its siding with church leaders who called for inclusivity in the Constitutional review process and the Building Bridges Initiative.
In a statement to newsrooms, the society’s president Harrison Mumia claimed that the BBI taskforce ignored their concerns, key among them being the removal of a preamble of the Constitution that calls for acknowledging the supremacy of God.
“It is unfortunate that our concerns as atheists have not been captured in the final draft of the BBI. Many other interest groups have raised similar concerns.
“One of our key proposals to the BBI taskforce was that article 170 that establishes the Khadhi Courts be expunged from the Constitution. We also want the following part of the Preamble of the Constitution expunged: We the people of Kenya, Acknowledging the supremacy of the Almighty God of all creation,” read the statement in part.
The atheists argued that they are over 750,000 in number and must be accommodated in any Constitutional review process.
They, however, lauded the efforts of President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in uniting the nation, stressing that the initiative should at no point be used for selfish gains.
Earlier this week, a section of church leaders hit out at the BBI taskforce, saying their concerns had been ignored.
A number of evangelical leaders led by Bishop Mark Kariuki argued that the concerns of the clergy were not captured in the 2010 Constitution and the same happened when they presented their proposals this time.
“We are all Kenyans and each one of us has a right to air their concerns. We presented our concerns in the 2010 Constitution but were ignored. We appeared before the BBI taskforce and presented our memorandum and up to today, it has been ignored.
“We are of the view that the task force deliberately took the church for granted. But let it be made clear that as per the last census, we have a representation of 82 per cent and we have the ability and the capacity to rally ourselves to mobilise and have candidates who will carry the interests of the church in every constituency,” said Kariuki.
Among the issues that the church wanted clarified in the 2010 constitution included declaration of same-sex marriage and abortion as unlawful.
At the same time, the church also wanted to be guaranteed freedom from state interference.
The leaders traced the genesis of their frustrations to the drafting of the 2010 constitution saying they were “fooled” into supporting the document they were against with a promise that their recommendations will be considered in future.
Bishop Kariuki added that this time everyone should feel represented to avoid a scenario of ‘them versus us.’
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