MOMBASA, Kenya, May 31 - The High court in Mombasa has thrown out a case seeking to suspend the August 4 referendum owing to conflict on the inclusion of Kadhis’ courts in the proposed Constitution.
Justice Mohamed Ibrahim ruled that the case was not within the jurisdiction of the Mombasa High Court dashing the hopes of Christian leaders who had filed the suit.
The application was filed in 2009 by three clergy under the Mombasa Pastors’ Fellowship umbrella who were protesting failure by the Committee of Experts to declare the inclusion of Kadhis’ courts as a contentious issue.
The Pastors’ Fellowship was seeking the definition of what amounts to contentious issues in the constitution review process.
In their application, Bishop Joseph Kimani, Reverend Musyoka Nzui and Agnes Mbinya had asked the court to issue conservatory orders and suspend the operations of some of the sections of the Constitution of Kenya Review Act 2008.
Among the sections the three wanted suspended include sections 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34. These sections deal with the civic education, the date of the referendum and the conduct of the referendum.
The Mombasa Pastor’s Fellowship was represented in the case by lawyer Gikandi Ngibuini.
The ruling comes barely a week after the Constitutional Court in Nairobi ruled that the courts are illegal in the current constitution but added it could not make any verdict on the proposed Constitution. The government is planning to appeal the case which although does not affect the current review process has been seen as giving mileage to the No camp led by the clergy and a few politicians.
The case had been filed by the church in 2004.
One more case filed by the clergy against the new law is pending at the High Court in Nairobi.