Atheists Demand Changes to National Anthem

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Building Bridges Initiative team members

Atheists in Kenya association presented its raft of demands before the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce on Wednesday, February 26, key among them, a suggestion to edit the Kenya national anthem.

Represented by its chairman Harrison Mumia at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, the association reiterated its support for the BBI but faulted the report’s recommendations for what it described as failing to put into consideration factors that affect the secular, free thinkers and humanist organisations. 

“Since, not all Kenyans share a religious belief of a supernatural being, the word God should be scrapped off,” stated Mumia before going on to propose edits to the wording of the constitution.

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The BBI Task Force team members from, left, Martin Kimani, Yusuf Haji and Adams Oloo at KICC on November 2, 2018.

Daily Nation

The preamble to the Kenyan Constitution 2010 reads in part “We, the people of Kenya – Acknowledging the supremacy of the Almighty God of all creation…Proud  of our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, and determined to live in peace and unity as one indivisible sovereign nation..:”

The atheists’ society, however, further proposed that the word God needed to be removed from the constitution.

“Neither the government nor our constitution should be seen to be promoting any religion, or certain religious ideas. That is why we want the word God erased from the constitution of Kenya.

“Kenyan identity and traditions should also be promoted. This should include persons to have three African names without a Western name to restore our Kenyanness,” Mumia stated.

The association further took issue with religious education in the basic education system, proposing that the subjects be withdrawn.

“Christian, Islamic and Hindu religious education is outdated and should be replaced with a new subject. Religion, Belief, and Values (RBV) is what should be taught in schools,”  added Mumia.

He added that Kenyans who do not believe in God find no relevance in the sentiments of the national anthem and compulsory religious education in primary school.

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Delegates at The Bomas Of Kenya

Delegates at The Bomas Of Kenya, Nairobi During The Launch of BBI to The Public on Wednesday, November 27, 2019.

Simon Kiragu

The society faulted Article 45 (1) of the 2010 Constitution that defines the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society and the necessary basis of social order. 

Instead, the society recommended that the Article be amended to “Every adult has the right to marry any other person, based on the free consent of the parties.” from “Every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties.”

The BBI task force began its consultative meetings on February 5, 2020, and is expected to continue till the end of March. However, it is not yet clear when the final report will be handed over to the President.

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