The Citizen Handbook

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010: The People’s Power

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010: My Constitution, My Future

An Overview of the 2010 Constitution

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 consists of 18 Chapters and six Schedules. It emphasizes on the sovereign power of the people; noting that all constitutional power derives from the people. It stipulates that the government must consult citizens in the formulation of policies and decisions that affect them, other citizens, and the country as a whole.

The Constitution contains a chapter on values that intends to guide citizens and leaders alike. It also has a chapter addressing leadership, integrity, and accountability. A detailed Bill of Rights is included, which discusses social, economic, and cultural rights among other issues. The Bill of Rights offers protection to and opportunities for participation in governance for people with disabilities, the youth, women, marginalized groups, and minorities.

The system of governance established in the Constitution has important checks and balances, where the country’s three separate branches of government –Judiciary, Executive, and Legislative – are independent of one another. Furthermore, the Constitution distributes power from the national level to subnational levels. This way of decentralizing power, called devolution, intends to enhance resource distribution and public participation. The Constitution also establishes a Senate at the national level to protect and enhance the newly created devolved system of government.

The public finance provisions of the Constitution intend to assist with the management of government finances in a more accountable manner. These include regulations that ensure equitable distribution of resources. Another important feature of the Constitution is the creation of various independent commissions and offices that serve to check and balance the powers of government. They are also tools for citizens to use to ensure that the government adheres to the principles of the Constitution.

The constitutional provisions relating to land are comprehensive and include the creation of a National Land Commission as well as an improved land tenure system. The land provisions also emphasize the need for the nation to address historical injustices that relate to land, and deal with matters of the environment and conservation.

Chapters of the 2010 Constitution

 1.      Sovereignty of the People and Supremacy of this Constitution
 2.      The Republic
 3.      Citizenship
 4.      The Bill of Rights
 5.      Land and Environment
 6.      Leadership and Integrity
 7.      Representation of the People
 8.      The Legislature
 9.      The Executive
 10.    Judiciary
11.    Devolved Government
 12.    Public Finance
 13.    The Public Service
 14.    National Security
 15.    Commissions & Independent Offices
 16.    Amendment of this Constitution
 17.    General Provisions
 18.    Transitional & Consequential provisions

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