Atheists Send Warning To Ruto

Two years ago, AIKS collided with Ruto after a statement from the DP during his visit to the Anglican Church of Kenya...

Atheists Send Warning To Ruto
President-elect William Ruto addressing the congregation in Nakuru on Sunday, September 4, 2022. /WILLIAM RUTO

The Atheists in Kenya Society (AIKS) has advised president-elect William Ruto against giving a privilege to religious beliefs after his administration ascends to power after his swearing-in.

In a statement by the group's president, Harrison Mumia, AIKS congratulated Ruto for his victory in the August 9 general elections as well as the Supreme Court for exercising its legal mandate to the protection of the will of the Kenyan people.

It also thanked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and especially chairperson Wafula Chebukati, as well as Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu for ensuring the integrity of the elections. Notably, it left out the four breakaway commissioners in its message.

Atheists in Kenya Society (AIKS) president, Harrison Mumia. /THE STAR

AIKS called upon Ruto to promote secular beliefs and freedom of religion according to the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and that it will oppose attempts to privilege religious organizations in the country.

"It is our hope that President William Ruto will promote secularism and freedom of religion as specified under Articles 8 and 32 of our Constitution during his term. Atheists should never face discrimination.

"We will vehemently oppose any attempt to privilege religious organizations and religious beliefs in Kenya. Both believers and atheists have important roles to play in building a democratic, pluralistic and inclusive Kenyan society," Mumia stated.

Two years ago, AIKS collided with Ruto after a statement from the DP during his visit to the Anglican Church of Kenya in Khwisero read “I want to say for the avoidance of doubt that Kenya is a country of prayer and not reggae and magicians. We will stop this reggae.”

He was referring to Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s slogan ‘Nobody can stop reggae’ that became popular during rallies for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2020.

“We are concerned that thee Deputy President is advancing religious nationalism. Given that he holds a key Constitutional office, such remarks demean the status of his office and pose threat to our Constitutionalism. 

“Article 8 establishes Kenya as a secular State. William Ruto is perverting the spirit of our Constitution by insisting that his religious views (or the religious views of the majority) should be normative for all citizens,” Mumia stated at the time.

According to the Constitution of Kenya: “There shall be no State religion.” Ruto himself is known as a prayerful person and disclosed on Monday, September 5 that he prays with his wife, Mama Rachel Ruto, as well as holds hands before he leaves the house.

He credited the prayers of the first lady designate and other Kenyans as a catalyst to his victory in the August 9 elections.