RELIGIOUS STANDOFF

Court stops Governor Ali from building mosque in Marsabit market

Clerics say they were surprised to learn of the change of the plan and the inclusion of a mosque as a new feature in the market.

In Summary

• Judge Juma Chitembwe on Tuesday gave temporary orders stopping any further construction of the mosque.

• This is after a group of pastors in Marsabit sued, challenging the building of the mosque saying it's discriminatory.

Nairobi court summons OCS Kamukunji
COURT ORDER: Nairobi court summons OCS Kamukunji
Image: THE STAR

 Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali has been barred from constructing a mosque inside the county's public market.

Judge Juma Chitembwe on Tuesday gave temporary orders stopping any further construction of the mosque.

A group of pastors in Marsabit sued the county, challenging the building of the mosque saying it's discriminatory.

 

Through lawyer Shadrack Wambui, the pastors argued that the county and the governor have "maliciously on the basis of some selfish agenda aimed at giving the Muslim faith prominence by  converted space that was initially intended for six markets stalls into a mosque".

The pastors, through Wambui, said they were disturbed by the proposal since the county is cosmopolitan and it would be impossible for the market to have a space for every religious or spiritual organisation.

“It is beyond doubt that the respondents profess the Muslim faith and have deliberately and in a calculated move orchestrated the construction of the impugned mosque at a public market against the constitutional decree of a secular state devoid of any religious preference, consequently pitting Christian and other faithful against Muslims,” they argued.

They told the court that they are a union of pastors in Marsabit, which was formed in 1995 and they bring together 25 Christian ministries.

On March 25, the  chief officer directed the project manager through a letter to change the original drawing of the new Marsabit market to accommodate  a mosque on the second floor.

The clerics say as residents, they were surprised to learn of the change of the plan and the inclusion of a mosque as a new feature in the market.

The case will be heard on July 8.