When the next generation of leaders forgets God: State, religion and the dilemma of the interpretation of article 8 of the Constitution of Kenya in the not-so-distant future.

Alex-TameiAuthor: Alex Tamei
Law student, Kabarak University School of Law, Kenya

Article eight of the Constitution of Kenya states very succinctly that Kenya shall have no state religion, [i]effectively rendering Kenya a secular state.  Several disagreements have arisen because of this minimalist approach taken by the constitution in addressing the relationship between religion and the state. An example is the numerous ‘headscarves cases’ [ii] which according to Mukami Wangai, brought to the surface the confusion in deciding exactly which strain of secularism the 2010 Constitution envisioned for Kenyans. [iii]

Shortly after his ascension to the seat of president of the republic, His Excellency William Samoei Ruto caused a fresh round of debate to ensue on the relationship between state and religion by inviting several clergymen into his official residence at statehouse. Naturally this rankled some people the wrong way. [iv]   One such iteration of this debate occurred at Kabarak University during the second edition of the Meet the Author Series where Professor J. Osogo Ambani and a plenary of distinguished contributors came together to tackle the issue at hand through the lens of Professor Ambani’s book, Africa and the decolonization of state religious practice.

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