11 Mazrui, The Africans, 69. 12 Ocran, ‘The clash of legal cultures’, 473-474. 13 On this basis a lawyer of a complainant family recently moved the High Court in Kenya to terminate a murder trial citing the fact that: “The two families have sat and some form of compensation has taken place wherein camels, goats and other traditional ornaments were paid to the aggrieved family. Actually one of the rituals that have been performed is said to have paid for blood of the deceased to his family as provided for under the Islamic law and customs. These two families have performed the said rituals, the family of the deceased is satisfied that the offence committed has been fully compensated to them under the Islamic laws and customs applicable in such matters and in the foregoing circumstances, they do not wish to pursue the matter any further be it in court or any other forum …”. As if to corroborate the above averments, Abdow Alio Ibrahim, the deceased’s father, further testified in an affidavit before court: “it’s worth noting that it goes against our tradition to pursue the matter any further and/or testify against the accused person once we have received full compensation in the matter of which we already have ... it’s our instruction that the matter and/or court case be withdrawn as our family wishes to put a stop to the matter.” Republic v Mohamed Abdow Mohamed , Criminal Case No 86 of 2011. 14 For fuller treatment, see Magesa L, What is not sacred: African spirituality, Acton Publishers, Nairobi, 2013.
45 The wretched African traditionalists in Kenya. . . S TRATHMORE L AW J OURNAL , J UNE 2015 emony; and if he is educated, he takes religion with him to the examination room at school or in the university; if he is a politician he takes it to the house of parliament. 15 Since traditional religion accompanied its subjects in virtually every under- taking, the law in pre-colonial societies has to be cast against a context whereby “belief in the supernatural, and law may be fused and mutually supportive”. 16 African customary systems after visitation By the sixteenth century, Islam and Christian values had begun to slowly percolate the ‘dark continent’. At the East African Coast, Portuguese and other civilisations had already begun to have influence. Arab traders and European mis - sionaries had not only extended economic and political muscle, but also religious and cultural influence. They introduced unique civilisations, and their legacy in - cluded inputting into the local languages, cultures, political and social systems, agriculture, architecture, trade, and religion, amongst others. 17 In West Africa; [T]he religion of Islam had been firmly rooted in many societies in sub-Saharan Africa since the fifteenth century. Islam entered Hausa land in the early fourteenth century. About 40 Wangarawa traders brought Islam with them, and during the reign of Muhammad Rumfa between 1463 and 1499, Islam was firmly rooted in Kano.
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