Atheists in Kenya denied access to a children’s home
Atheists in Kenya (AIK), led by Harrison Mumia, above, has suffered another setback.
After receiving official recognition, the group was left in limbo earlier this year when the Attorney General ordered the reversal of its registration because of pressure put on the government by religious zealots.
Now, according to this report, members have been banned from visiting a children’s home in Limuru to donate food, clothes and stationery.
Mumia, quite rightly, has accused the authorities of discrimination, and has written a letter of complaint to the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs.
The letter to Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki pointed out that the management of the NEST home had allowed the atheists to make the visit which was scheduled for today, November 26, but the department instructed the home to bar them.
Part of the letter stated:
We want to take issue with the Children’s Department in the country for what seems to be blatant discrimination against atheists in Kenya. Their decision to stop atheists from visiting the NEST Children’s Home reeks of religious extremism and is in a bad taste.
Director of the Home, Irene Baumgartner, confirmed that she received a call from the department asking her to bar the group from visiting the facility.
I am not the one who banned them. I received a call from the Children’s office in Kiambu and was directed not to allow them because they have a court case.
According to this May, 2016, report, on February 17, 2016, Atheists in Kenya (AIK) received their registration certificate from the Registrar of Societies. The group became the first atheist society to gain registration in Kenya. The Deputy Registrar of Societies registered the group as a society under Section 10 of the Societies Act.
Before that, the Registrar of Societies had denied AIK registration, saying that the move could affect the “peace and good order” in the country. The group’s leader threatened to go to court and the Registrar’s office withdrew the earlier decision, thereby granting AIK registration status in the process.
However, in what appears to be outright intimidation from religious “characters”, the Attorney General has written to the Registrar of Societies directing the office to withdraw the registration of AIK. This comes after a group of religious leaders demanded that the Attorney General resigns for issuing the directive to have AIK registered.
An alliance of these Christian and Muslim leaders said that they would go to court and mobilise their followers into the streets if the Registrar of Societies failed to deregister the group. Nevertheless, in a statement, AIK said that they had not received written notice concerning deregistration and pledged to go on with their activities.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn