Kenya: Religious Leaders Launch Draft Constitution

Religious leaders have presented a draft constitution to the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) charged with the review process, rejecting the creation of a premier's post and asserting the equality of all religions in the East African nation of 33 million people.

As the faiths-led Ufungamano Initiative launched the draft in Nairobi on Thursday, January 15, 2004, the NCC voted to not only create a prime minister's post, but also to transfer key powers from the presidency to the premier.

Ufungamano brings together Catholics, Hindus, and the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK). Muslims pulled out in 2003.

The Ufungamano draft asserts that "State and religion are separate," and that "All religions are equal, and no state religion shall be established in the Republic."

Nairobi Catholic Archbishop Most Rev Raphael Ndingi Mwana -a Nzeki told CISA on Friday, January 16, 2004 that Ufungamano was yet to hear from the NCC.

"It is too early," the Archbishop told CISA.

Saying that Ufungamano was not pessimistic about the wrangle-ridden NCC delivering a document on schedule, Archbishop Ndingi said the faiths prepared a draft under the provisions to freely express their own views.