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March 22, 2018

Atheists want Nkaissery to declare February 17 their holiday

Atheists in Kenya president Harrison Mumia speaks at a Nairobi hotel during their meeting on September 25, 2016. /COLLINS KWEYU
Atheists in Kenya president Harrison Mumia speaks at a Nairobi hotel during their meeting on September 25, 2016. /COLLINS KWEYU

Atheists in Kenya has asked Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery to consider gazetting February 17 as a public holiday celebrating them.

Chairman Harrison Mumia said they want to celebrate the fact that atheism frees up a lot of time that would otherwise be "wasted in worship".

"We want to celebrate atheism because it prevents one from being ripped off by religious charlatans. It provides great freedom and responsibility," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

 "We want to celebrate the fact that the results of our actions as atheists are our responsibility and we can’t blame it on sin... We are not looking forward to the promise of heaven or the punishment of hell."

Mumia said they chose that date as it was then that the organisation was registered in 

"This registration was significant, both in terms of promoting the diversity of Kenyans and protecting the rights of atheists to associate and exercise their freedom of conscience," he said.

He asked Nkaissery to exercise his powers under the Public Holidays Act as those who do not believe in the existence of God finally have a reason to celebrate.

 Read: Atheists demand removal of 'God' from national anthem

Also read: Remove my name from voters register, Atheists in Kenya boss tells IEBC over rigging claims

Quoting Article 27 of the constitution, Mumia said Nkaissery should not to discriminate against atheists.

The article states that;

(1) Every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.

(2) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and fundamental freedoms.

(3) Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.

(4) The state shall not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on any ground, including race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth.

Church leaders spoke last April against the registration of the atheists' society by the Attorney General.

The Kenya National Congress of Pentecostal Churches and Ministries issued a statement saying it was abominable and unconstitutional to have the society registered and given a certificate.

Abdullahi Abdi, the Muslims’ Shuura Council chairperson, faulted the registration of the society saying it not only goes against the constitution of Kenya but also mocks cultural and social norms.

Read more: Religious leaders demand deregistration of Atheists society


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