The Kenyan Government

INTRODUCTORY BACKGROUND

 

The government was formed in 1963. However, Kenya didn’t become a republic until 1964.Initially, the head of government was the Prime Minister who was Jomo Kenyatta. He later on became the President of Kenya.

The current structure of government allows power to be held on two levels. The National level and the county level. This allows the Counties of Kenya a form of autonomy. Before the 2013 elections Kenya was under a central government with 8 provinces.

The country is a democracy the constitution states that the state shall be a multi-party democratic state founded on the national values and principles of governance referred to in Article 10.

The three arms of government are based upon the separation of power of each arm. All arms work to balance each other. Before the 2013 general election the Judiciary wouldn’t be considered as independent as it is today. Before the 1992 elections Kenya wasn’t a multiparty state and thus all power was centred in the Executive with Daniel arap Moi as President. With all the systems that have been put in place in the years after the 2002 election Kenya could be considered as one of the freest nations.

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a sovereign state in Africa. Its capital and largest city is Nairobi. Kenya lies on the equator with the Indian Ocean to the south-east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya covers 581,309 km2 (224,445 sq mi) and has a population of about 44 million in July 2012.

CLIMATE

The country has a warm and humid climate along its Indian Ocean coastline, with wildlife-rich savannah grasslands inland towards the capital. Nairobi has a cool climate that gets colder approaching Mount Kenya, which has three permanently snow-capped peaks. Further inland there is a warm and humid climate around Lake Victoria, and temperate forested and hilly areas in the western region. The northeastern regions along the border with Somalia and Ethiopia are arid and semi-arid areas with near-desert landscapes. Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh-water lake and the world’s largest tropical lake, is situated to the southwest and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania.

TOURISM

Kenya’s services sector, which contributes about 61 percent of GDP, is dominated by tourism. The tourism sector has exhibited steady growth in most years since independence and by the late 1980s had become the country’s principal source of foreign exchange. Tourists, the largest number from Germany and the United Kingdom, are attracted mainly to the coastal beaches and the game reserves, notably, the expansive East and West Tsavo National Park (20,808 square kilometres (8,034 sq mi)) in the southeast.

THE KENYAN GOVERNMENT ARMS

The government is subdivided into 3 to provide separation of powers and provide checks and balances. The three branches are as indicated below:

The Legislature

Parliament Buildings Nairobi

The Legislature is charged with making law. It represents the people.

Parliament of Kenya

The Parliament of Kenya is the legislative branch of the government. It is bicameral, comprising the National Assembly and the Senate. Prior to the Kenyan general election, 2013 the National Assembly served as a unicameral parliament.

The National Assembly

PARLIAMNENT

 

The 349 seats of the National Assembly

The National Assembly is made up of 349 Members of Parliament, 290 elected from the constituencies, 47 women elected from the counties and 12 nominated representatives. The speaker serves as an ex officio member. All 349 MPs serve a five-year term. Elections are held at the same time as the General Election.

Each of the 290 MPs receives a maximum of one representative. Qualifications for running for office are that the person has to be registered as a voter, satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by the Constitution, is nominated by a political party, or is an independent candidate who is supported by at least one thousand registered voters in the constituency in the case of election to the Senate, by at least two thousand registered voters in the county.

According to the constitution the term of each House of Parliament expires on the date of the next general election which is held every five years. With the only exception being that when the country is at war, Parliament may, by resolution supported in each House by at least two-thirds of all the members of the House, from time to time extend the term of Parliament by not more than six months at a time.

Senate

The senate of Kenya is made up of currently 67 senators. The 67 senators consist of 47 First Past the Post (1 from each county no matter the geographical or population size), 20 co-opted and 1 ex-officio member (the Speaker of the Senate).

The political parties as required by the Constitution nominated an additional 16 women. Other nominations were made for two youth representatives and two representatives for persons with disabilities. The Speaker, who is an ex officio member, was elected by the Senators sworn in on the first sitting of the Senate.

The Executive

The Executive is charged with enforcing the law. The executive branch consists of the President, the Deputy President and the Cabinet. Cabinet meetings are held with the Attorney General present.

President

jap

 

The Presidential Standard

The President is the head of state and government, as in most republics. He is also the Commander-in-chief of the Kenya Defence Forces.

The President has the power to appoint every leader within the executive including Cabinet Secretaries and the Attorney General.

The incumbent is Uhuru Kenyatta son of the first President, Jomo Kenyatta. Kenya has had a total of 4 presidents. Two of the former Presidents, Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi are still alive. The longest serving president was Daniel arap Moi who served for a total of 24 years.

The National Assembly with at least a third of all the members, may set in motion an act to impeach the President. The National Assembly may do so on the grounds of gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, where there is reasons to believing that the President has committed a crime under national or international law or for gross misconduct.

If the motion to impeach passes in the National Assembly the act to impeach moves to the Senate and if at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate vote to uphold any impeachment charge, the President shall cease to hold office.

Deputy President

The Deputy President is the second-highest executive office in the republic. The position before the 2013 general election was known as the Vice-President of Kenya. There have been 11 deputy presidents since independence.

The incumbent is William Ruto who as Uhuru Kenyatta is part of the Jubilee Alliance. The first person to hold the position was Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. The 8th person to hold the office, Michael Kijana Wamalwa was the first and only person to pass away while in office. George Saitoti has held the position twice on separate occasions

The Cabinet

The Government is ran by the Ministries of Kenya. The constitution limits the number of Ministries to a minimum of 14 and maximum of 22. The heads of the ministries are known as Cabinet Secretaries who are all nominated by the President. The President has power to assign and dismiss a Cabinet Secretary.

A Cabinet Secretary cannot be an MP and their deputies are known as Principal Secretaries.

All civil servants e.g. teachers in public schools or diplomats fall under one of the ministries in the Cabinet

The Judiciary

The Judiciary is charged with applying and upholding the law. This is done through a legal system consisting of courts.

The Court System

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Supreme Court Buildings

The Judiciary is led by the Chief Justice who is currently Willy Mutunga. The highest court is the Supreme Court. According to the constitution all courts, other than the Supreme Court, are bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court.

The other courts are the Court of Appeal, the High Court which hears almost every type of case.

The subordinate courts consist of the Magistrates courts, the Kadhi courts, the Courts Martial and any other court or local tribunal as may be established by an Act of Parliament, other than the currently established courts.

The President has the power to appoint the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice, in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and subject to the approval of the National Assembly. The President can also appoint all other judges

 

County governments

The Counties of Kenya have devolved functions of the former central government. Each county has its own Governor who is directly elected and thereafter becomes the highest elected official in the county. Each county has its own County Assembly with MCAs (Members of the County Assembly) as representatives.

The powers of the County are provided in Articles 191 and 192, and in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya and the County Governments Act of 2012.

Functions and duties not assigned by the Constitution automatically become the National governments responsibility.

As opposed to other devolved governments around the world, only the national government may impose income tax, value-added tax, customs duties and other duties on import and export goods and excise tax.

The counties are individually allowed to impose property rates, entertainment taxes and any other tax that it is authorised to impose by an Act of Parliament.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Kenya is a presidential representative democratic republic. The President is both the head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly or parliamentary lower house. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature

National Coat of Arms

ARMS

Kenya’s Coat of Arms was adopted in 1963 when the country became independent. It features two gold lions, one on either side of a Maasai shield with two crossed spears. The lions symbolise Kenya’s wild- life and the courage of the people of Kenya to defend their country. The shield bears the colours of the national flag, the black top section symbolising Kenya’s people, the green at the bottom representing the country’s agriculture and natural resources, and the red in the middle section the struggle for independence.

 

KENYAN FLAG

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National Flag

The Kenyan flag is based on that of Kenya African National Union and was adopted in December 12th 1963 as the country’s flag. The colour black represents the people of the Republic of Kenya, red for the blood shed during the fight for freedom, green for the country’s landscape; the white fimbriation was added later to symbolize peace and honesty. The black, red, and white traditional Maasai shield and two spears symbolize the defense of all the things mentioned above.

 

The Kenyan flag is based on the black over red over green flag of Kenya African National Union (KANU), the political party that led the fight for freedom and independence of Kenya. Upon independence, the white fimbriation, symbolizing peace and unity, and the shield were added. The meaning of the colours of the flag of Kenya match closely to those of the Pan-African flag adopted by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League in 1920.

 

THE KENYAN NATIONAL ANTHEM

Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu
Swahili lyrics English lyrics
First stanza
Ee Mungu nguvu yetu Ilete baraka kwetu Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi Natukae na Udungu Amani na uhuru Raha tupate na ustawi. O God of all creation Bless this our land and nation Justice be our shield and defender May we dwell in unity Peace and liberty Plenty be found within our borders.
Second stanza
Amkeni ndugu zetu Tufanye sote bidii Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu Nchi yetu ya Kenya Tunayoipenda Tuwe tayari kuilinda Let one and all arise With hearts both strong and true Service be our earnest endeavour And our homeland of Kenya Heritage of splendour Firm may we stand to defend
Third stanza
Natujenge taifa letu Ee, ndio wajibu wetu Kenya istahili heshima Tuungane mikono Pamoja kazini Kila siku tuwe na shukrani Let all with one accord In common bond united Build this our nation together And the glory of Kenya The fruit of our labour Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

 

 

POLITICAL PARTIES IN KENYA

Parties with Registration Certificates

 

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