President of the Republic of Kenya
Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kenya
Kenya presidential standard William Ruto.svg
Presidential standard
Ruto at WTO Public Forum 2014 (cropped).jpg
William Ruto

since 13 September 2022
Government of Kenya
ResidenceState House
AppointerDirect popular vote or via succession from deputy presidency
Term lengthFive years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Kenya
PrecursorQueen of Kenya
Inaugural holderJomo Kenyatta
Formation12 December 1964; 58 years ago (1964-12-12)
DeputyDeputy President of Kenya

The president of the Republic of Kenya (Swahili: Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kenya) is the head of state and head of government of the Republic of Kenya. The President is also the head of the executive branch of the Government of Kenya and is the commander-in-chief of the Kenya Defence Forces.


Kenya's pre-independence constitution was based on the standard "Lancaster House template" used for the former British colonies in Africa, was subject to early amendments, and was replaced in 1969.

Under the Independence Constitution, the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was the country's head of state, represented locally by a Governor-General of Kenya, who was the head of government. In 1964, the year after the country gained independence from Britain, the 1963 Constitution was amended to make the country a republic, with the President now serving as both head of state and head of government.

Kenya has had a total of 5 presidents since independence, in successive order: Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the current, William Ruto, who was inaugurated on 13 September 2022. Daniel arap Moi remains the country's longest serving President, having served for a total of 24 years.

Qualifications and election to office

According to the current Constitution, if a person wishes to be elected as President, the following qualifications must be met:

  1. Should be a Kenyan citizen by birth;
  2. Should be qualified for election as a Member of Parliament;
  3. Should have been nominated by a political party to stand as its candidate for the Presidency, or they may stand as an independent candidate; and
  4. The person should have been nominated by more than two thousand voters from each of a majority of the country's 47 counties.[1]

A candidate will be disqualified to run for presidency if they have allegiance to a foreign state or is working for the government in any capacity as a public officer. Being a public officer is not applicable to the incumbent President if running for a second term.

The President is elected by popular vote in the general election held in the month of August every 5 years. For a presidential candidate to be declared the winner, they must have:

  1. More than half of the total votes cast in the election; and
  2. At least 25% of the votes cast in each of more than half of the 47 counties in the country.[2]

The official residence of the President of Kenya is State House, Nairobi.

The wife of the President is referred to as the First Lady of Kenya.

Term of office

A president is eligible for two consecutive terms of five years each, starting from the date the president is sworn in.[3]

Roles and responsibilities

The following is a summary of the roles of the President of Kenya as provided in the Constitution of Kenya:

The responsibilities of the President are summarised as follows:

Additionally, a person serving as President has legal immunity, with the exception of crimes under treaties to which Kenya is party with provisions that prohibit such immunity.

List of presidents

Main article: List of heads of state of Kenya

Presidential standards

See also


  1. ^ "137. Qualifications and disqualifications for election as President – Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  2. ^ "136. Election of the President – Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  3. ^ "142. Term of office of President – Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  4. ^ "132. Functions of the President – Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". Retrieved 24 May 2020.