The Citizen Handbook

Fundamentals of Devolution

Understanding Devolution

Objects &Principles of Devolution

The Constitution transfers many national administrative, fiscal and political powers through devolution to 47 county governments. The powers granted in Chapter 11 of the Constitution enables counties to govern themselves, including raising revenue, making laws and electing local leaders. These powers, however, should observe specific principles and objectives outlined in the Constitution.

Principles of Devolved Government

Article 175 of the Constitution lists and describe the principles of devolution in Kenya. Some of these include:

    · County governments shall be based on democratic principles and the separation of powers;

   · County governments shall have reliable resources so they can govern and deliver services effectively; and

   · The county government’s representative bodies shall be comprised of not more than two-thirds of the same gender.

Objectives of Devolution

Article 174 of the Constitution outlines nine specific objectives of Kenya's devolved government. Some of these include:

   · Promoting democratic and accountable exercise of power;

   · Fostering national unity by recognizing diversity;

   · Giving power of self-governance to the people and enhancing their participation in the exercise of the powers of state and in making decisions affecting them;

   · Recognizing the right of communities to manage their own affairs and development;

   · Protecting and promoting the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized communities;

   · Promoting socio-economic development and providing  easily and accessible services throughout Kenya;

   · Ensuring equitable sharing of national and local resource  throughout Kenya;

   · Facilitating further decentralization of State organs; their functions and services from the Capital of Kenya; and

   · Enhancing checks, balances and the separation of powers

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