NEWS 2005


Kenya and her Constitution, the story so far…

1963 – Independence

Kenya adopts her first constitution

1964-9 – 1st Phase of Amendment Process


- Establishment of a Republic,
- Regionalism dismantled in favour of strong centralization
- Bicameral system abolished, National Assembly becomes only legislature
- Power concentrated in the hands of the Presidency

1974-86 – 2nd Phase of Amendment Process


- Voting age lowered from 21 to 18
- Kiswahili made official language of National Assembly

1982 - Kenya made a de jure single party state

1987-92 – 3rd Phase of Amendment


- Tussle between Judiciary and Parliament over citizens’ rights to bail
- Pluralism reinstated
- Security of tenure for judges removed and then reinstated

1990 – KANU Review Committee

‘Wananchi’ bring constitutional matters to the fore

1990s - Merits and pitfalls of single party state under KANU leadership widely debated

- ‘Wananchi’ becoming increasingly frustrated at their lack of involvement in the political process and complain of ineffective and corrupt leadership

- Wisdom of having power tilted so heavily in favour of the Presidency questioned Legal framework for Constitutional Review process set-up establishing the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC)

2002 – New NARC government elected under Kibaki, promising to deliver a new constitution in
100 days after coming into office

2004 – Bomas draft of new constitution completed

2005 – Chief Justice Wako publishes new proposed draft constitution

November 21, 2005 – Kenya’s first constitutional referendum!

For more information on the Constitutional Referendum...

I.E.D. (Institute for Education in Democracy) -

K.N.C.H.R. (Kenya National Commission on Human Rights) -

I.C.J. (Kenya Section of the International Commission of Jurists) -

C.K.R.C. (Constitution of Kenya Review Commission) -

TI-Kenya (Transparency International Kenya) -

Source: ADILI