On Thursday, September 8, senators who were elected in the August 9, General Election and those who were nominated by their respective parties took their oath of office.
The swearing-in of the MPs is guided by Article 74 of the Constitution which provides that no person shall assume or perform any functions of the office of a senate before taking and subscribing to the oath or affirmation of office.
During the swearing-in which is done either in English or Kiswahili language, senior members who have been part of both Houses were given priority in terms of taking the oath.
Senators who are Christians took the oath while holding the Bible while for Muslims, the Quaran was provided.
However, when their turn came, nominated Senator Veronica Maina and Busia senator-elect swore in without holding a Bible or a Qoran.
According to section 15 of the Act, any person objecting to the use of the Holy books and offering grounds of objection to the effect that one has no religious beliefs, could make his/her solemn affirmation instead of taking the oath.
However, in 2016, Constitutional and Human Rights judge Isaac Lenaola ruled that the use of the Holy books for swearing purposes does not in any way violate the Constitution.
The judge stated that nowhere in the Constitution and the Oaths and Statutory Declarations Act, has it been made mandatory for any public or state officer to swear by the Bible, Quran, or any other Holy book.
“It does not infringe on the rights of those who profess to Christianity or Islamic faiths,” Lenaola said.
Peace and Prosperity had in 2014 filed a petition seeking constitutional interpretation of Article 32 and Article 74 of the Constitution as read together with the Third Schedule and the Oaths and Statutory Declarations Act.