The Citizen Handbook

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

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

Implementation of the Constitution

This section will examine the major changes that will occur in the country's political landscape through the full implementation of the Constitution. It will also review the institutions responsible for carrying out the implementation process and list the laws needed to be enacted as stipulated in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. Finally, this section will examine some of the major challenges to the transition process.

Institutions Responsible for Implementation

There are several government institutions responsible for implementing the 2010 Constitution.
These institutions are as follows:
·         Commission on Implementation of the Constitution (CIC)

·         Kenya Law Reform Commission
·         Attorney General Office
·         Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) of Parliament

Transitional Legislation

Chapter 18 of the Constitution provides a framework for the transition from the previous Constitution to current one. Specifically, Article 261 stipulates the role of Parliament to enact legislation critical to the transition process. The Fifth Schedule outlines the specific pieces of legislation and the deadline for their passage by Parliament. The Attorney General, in consultation with the CIC, is in charge of preparing the relevant legislation for consideration by Parliament.According to Article 261(5), (6) of the Constitution, if Parliament fails to pass the required legislation in the necessary time frame  any person may petition the High Court on the matter and the Court can force Parliament to act.

Challenges to the Transition

Our country faces several challenges on the path to a successful constitutional transition. The following are some of the major obstacles that we face:
 ·         Delay in enactment of lawsThe intention of having timelines for enactment of laws is to ensure timely legislation, which is an important aspect of the implementation process. It is important for citizens, therefore, to ensure Parliament sticks to the constitutional deadlines for passing transitional legislation.
 ·         Low level of awarenessAnother obstacle to implementation is lack of awareness on the implications of the Constitution. In order for the Constitution to function properly and deliver visible results, you and other citizens must have a full understanding of the Constitution. The most effective way to ensure citizens understand the Constitution is through civic education.
 ·         Widespread corruption practices -Corruption floods all sectors of government and society. The Constitution puts emphasis on transparency and accountability (see Article 10), creates a system of checks and balances, and enhances the separation of power. Citizen participation in governance is another feature that runs through the whole Constitution. All of these mechanisms are useful in the fight against corruption.
 ·         Capacity of county governmentsDevolution is a new part of the governance system established in the Constitution. Implementing devolution requires a re-orientation from centralized, national planning and governance and moving it closer to the people and communities at the local level. From the experience of local government since independence, capacity has been a challenge in local governance particularly in the areas of revenue generation and service delivery.
 ·         Passive citizenryA major challenge to transition is the inaction of citizens in the affairs of governance. The Constitution requires full participation of the citizens on all aspects of governance processes. However, not all citizens can organize themselves to participate effectively. Minimal participation by citizens means less vigilance in preventing those opposed to the Constitution from undermining its full implementation.

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