In a letter to inspectors general of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, legislators Chris Smith (R- N. J.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) outlined their concerns.
The three U.S. legislators are calling for a probe into the issue, Kenya’s Star daily newspaper reported on May 16. The report follows two weeks of allegations by Kenya’s churches, which are advocating a “no” vote in the referendum scheduled for August 4.
Kenya’s churches say the draft law opens the door to the legalization of abortion and also back the provision of special Islamic courts. “We do not understand if all Americans agree with Obama that he can use American money to fund a ‘yes’ campaign in Kenya,” said Peter Karanja, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, on April 30 in Nairobi.
`Karanja said that many American Christians were standing with their fellow believers in the East African country. Anglican, Evangelical, Protestant, and Roman Catholic churches have said they will oppose the draft law, which they argue entrenches “Kadhi” courts, as the Islamic courts are called. They also say it will legalize abortion and reduce freedom of worship.
The U.S. lawmakers wrote, “The Obama Administration’s advocacy in support of Kenya’s proposed constitution may constitute a serious violation of the Siljander Amendment and, as such, may be subject to civil and criminal penalties under the Antideficiency Act.” The U.S. law is said to apply to funding made through institutions such as the US AID. It prohibits funding for lobbying for or against abortion.
“The proposed constitution includes two new articles that if adopted would enshrine the constitutional right to abortion in Kenya and dramatically change Kenya’s abortion law,” the lawmakers said.
Kenyan media reports have said that the U.S. State Department has pledged up to US $2 million to build support for the constitution.
The pro-government camp has been claiming it has enough votes to pass the proposed constitutional changes. However, church leaders are warning they will conduct education programs on the dangers of the law, as part of their prophetic witness.