President of the Republic of Kenya
Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kenya  (Swahili)
Kenya presidential standard UHURU KENYATTA.svg
Presidential Standard
Uhuru Kenyatta.png
Incumbent
Uhuru Kenyatta

since 9 April 2013
Government of Kenya
StyleMr President
(informal)
His Excellency
(formal, diplomatic)
TypeHead of state
Head of government
Executive President
ResidenceState House, Nairobi
AppointerDirect popular vote
Term lengthFive years, renewable once
PrecursorQueen of Kenya
Inaugural holderJomo Kenyatta
Formation12 December 1964; 57 years ago (1964-12-12)
DeputyDeputy President of Kenya
SalaryKES.1,650,000 monthly[1]
Websitepresident.go.ke

The president of the Republic of Kenya (Swahili: Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kenya) is the head of state and head of government of Kenya. The president leads the executive branch of the Government of Kenya and is the commander-in-chief of the Kenya Defence Forces.[2] The official residence of the president is State House, Nairobi.

The wife of the president is referred to as the first lady of Kenya.

Uhuru Kenyatta was the incumbent president, since 9 April 2013. He is the son of the first president, Jomo Kenyatta. He was elected on the Jubilee party ticket.

President

The Presidential Standard
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 of Kenya.

Kenya has had a total of 4 presidents. All three of the former Presidents, Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi, and Mwai Kibaki are deceased. The longest serving president was 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.[3] 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[4] vote to uphold any impeachment charge, the President shall cease to hold office. Removal of President by impeachment - Kenya Law Reform Commission

Qualifications

The person to be elected as president[5] should be a Kenyan citizen by birth,[6] who can be elected as member of parliament and has been nominated by a political party or stand as independent candidate. The candidate should also have been nominated by more than two thousand voters in twenty-four counties.[7][8][9]

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.[7][8][10]

Term of office

A president is eligible for two consecutive terms of five years each starting from the date the president is sworn in.[11][12]

Roles and responsibilities

The following are the roles of the president of Kenya:[13]

Power of mercy

The president has the power of mercy to pardon a person who has convicted an offence. This can only be done upon a petition by any person and advise and recommendation based from advisory Committee after looking into views of the victim of offence.[17][18][19]

Constitution of Kenya

Kenya's 1963 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 Constitution of Kenya, the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was represented as head of state by a Governor-General of Kenya. The Constitution also provided for a bicameral parliament, the National Assembly, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each province had an elected assembly.

In 1964, the Constitution was amended to make the country a republic with the President as both head of state and head of government, and in 1966, the membership of the Senate and House of Representatives was combined to form a unicameral National Assembly.

History

The constitution of Kenya is the supreme law of the Republic of Kenya. There have been three significant versions of the constitution, with the most recent redraft being enabled in 2010. The 2010 edition replaced the 1963 independence constitution. The constitution was presented to the Attorney General of Kenya on 7 April 2010, officially published on 6 May 2010, and was subjected to a referendum on 4 August 2010.

The new constitution was approved by 67% of Kenyan voters. The constitution was promulgated on 27 August 2010.

Constitutional reforms involving wholly new texts since gaining independence: in 1969 and in 2010. In 1969, the 1963 independence constitution was replaced with a new text that entrenched amendments already made to the system of government that the independence constitution had contemplated.[a]

These changes included: changing the structure of the state from a federal, or Majimbo system, to a unitary system; creating a unicameral instead of bicameral legislature; changing from a parliamentary to a semi-presidential system with a powerful presidency; and reducing the protections of the bill of rights. Further amendments to the 1969 constitution were later effected, including, in 1982, the institution of a de jure single party government.

The demand for a new constitution to replace the 1969 text with a more democratic system began in the early 1990s, with the end of the Cold War and democratic changes taking place elsewhere in Africa. The single party system was ended in 1991, and the first presidential election took place in 1992. Calls for a comprehensive review of the 1969 Constitution intensified in the late 1990s and early 2000s, helped by the victory of the opposition National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) party in the 2002 general elections. Official and civil society consultation processes led to the adoption of what became known as the "Bomas draft" constitution (after the location of the conference that adopted it). However, substantial amendments were nonetheless made to this draft prior to a referendum in 2005, resulting in a split in the then ruling coalition. The Liberal Democratic Party faction of the government, led by Raila Odinga, and supported by KANU led a successful 'No' vote against the amended Bomas Draft (called the Wako draft after the alleged mastermind of the changes). The review of the Constitution stalled and negotiations over the adoption of a new text seemed deadlocked. A deadlock only finally broken by the intervention of the African Union through a mediation team headed by Kofi Annan, following the outbreak of serious post-election violence in early 2008.

Drafting process for the 2010 Constitution

The Constitution of Kenya was the final document resulting from the revision of the Harmonized draft constitution of [Kenya] written by the Committee of Experts initially released to the public on 17 November 2009 so that the public could debate the document and then parliament could decide whether to subject it to a referendum in June 2010. The public was given 30 days to scrutinise the draft and forward proposals and amendments to their respective members of parliament, after which a revised draft was presented to the Parliamentary Committee on 8 January 2010. The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) revised the draft and returned the draft to the Committee of Experts who published a Proposed Constitution on 23 February 2010 that was presented to Parliament for final amendments if necessary.

After failing to incorporate over 150 amendments to the proposed constitution, parliament unanimously approved the proposed constitution on 1 April 2010. The proposed constitution was presented to the Attorney General of Kenya on 7 April 2010, officially published on 6 May 2010, and was subjected to a referendum on 4 August 2010.The new Constitution was approved by 67% of Kenyan voters.

Government structure

The key changes proposed by the new constitution released are in the following areas:

Gains achieved

The Executive

The executive at the top most levels will be constituted of a president, deputy president and the Cabinet.

Key functions of the president

The legislature

The legislative branch is bicameral and will constitute of the following

An upper house – the Senate

A lower house – the National Assembly

County Assemblies and Executive

Judiciary

Main article: Judiciary of Kenya

There will be three superior courts:

An independent Judicial Service Commission has been set up to handle the appointment of judges. They will recommend a list of persons to be appointed as judges by the president (this article will be enforced after the transitional period). The commission will consist of the following:

Attorney General

Devolution

Devolution to the county governments will only be autonomous in implementation of distinct functions as listed in the Fourth Schedule (Part 2). This is in contrast with the Federal System in which Sovereignty is Constitutionally divided between the Federal government and the States. The Kenyan Devolution system still maintains a Unitary Political Concept as a result of distribution of functions between the two levels of government under the Fourth schedule and also as result of Article 192 which gives the president the power to suspend a county government under certain conditions.[25]

A conflict of laws between the two levels of government is dealt with under Article 191 where National legislation will in some cases override County legislation. The relationship between the National Government and the Counties can be seen as that of a Principal and a limited autonomy Agent as opposed to an Agent and Agent relation in the Federal System.

More checks and balances have been introduced as requirements for accountability of both levels of government. The Parliament( Senate and National Assembly) has much discretion on the budgetary allocations to the County Governments. Every Five years the Senate receives recommendations from the Commission of Revenue Allocation[26] (Article 217) and a resolution is passed on the criteria for Revenue allocation.

The National Government is constitutionally barred from intruding wilfully with the county government role and function under the Fourth Schedule. Exceptions may require parliamentary approval (Article 191 and 192). The National Government has a role to play in the County level by performing all the other functions that are not assigned to the County Government as listed on the Fourth Schedule (Part 1).

List of presidents

Main article: List of heads of state of Kenya

Elections

The president is elected by popular vote in the general election held during August every 5 years. For the first time in the history of any African country, the 2017 general election was annulled. For the election of the president to be determined valid, they must have[27][28]

Latest election

See also: 2017 Kenyan general election

2017 presidential election

Candidate Running mate Party Votes % of valid votes cast
Uhuru Kenyatta William Ruto Jubilee Party of Kenya 7,483,895 98.26
Raila Odinga Kalonzo Musyoka National Super Alliance 73,228 0.96
Ekuru Aukot Emmanuel Nzai Thirdway Alliance Kenya 21,333 0.28
Abduba Dida Titus Ngetuny Alliance for Real Change 14,107 0.19
Japheth Kaluyu Muthiora Kariara Independent 8,261 0.11
Michael Mwaura Miriam Mutua Independent 6,007 0.08
Joseph Nyagah Moses Marango Independent 5,554 0.07
Cyrus Jirongo Joseph Momanyi United Democratic Party 3,832 0.05
Invalid/blank votes 37,713
Total 100
Registered voters/turnout 7,616,217 38.84
Source: IEBC

2017 general elections

Candidate Running mate Party Votes % of valid votes cast
Uhuru Kenyatta William Ruto Jubilee Party of Kenya 8,203,290 54.27
Raila Odinga Kalonzo Musyoka National Super Alliance 6,762,334 44.74
Joseph Nyagah Moses Marango Independent 42,259 0.28
Abduba Dida Titus Ngetuny Alliance for Real Change 38,093 0.25
Ekuru Aukot Emmanuel Nzai Thirdway Alliance Kenya 27,311 0.18
Japheth Kaluyu Muthiora Kariara Independent 16,482 0.11
Michael Mwaura Miriam Mutua Independent 13,257 0.09
Cyrus Jirongo Joseph Momanyi United Democratic Party 11,705 0.08
Invalid/blank votes
Total 100
Registered voters/turnout 19,743,716
Source: IEBC

Presidential standards

See also

Notes

  1. ^ See Preston Chitere, Ludeki Chweya, Japhet Masya, Arne Tostensen and Kamotho Waiganjo, "Kenya Constitutional Documents: A Comparative Analysis" Chr. Michelsen Institute, 2006, for a chronology of constitutional negotiations.

References

  1. ^ Today, Business (18 May 2017). "Top earners: President Uhuru and Deputy President Ruto salaries".
  2. ^ "131. Authority of the President - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Process to Remove or Impeach the President in Kenya". AfroCave. 17 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  4. ^ "The Functions and Role of the Senate in Kenya". AfroCave. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Qualifications for the Presidency in Kenya". AfroCave. 4 January 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  6. ^ "14. Citizenship by birth - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b "137. Qualifications and disqualifications for election as President - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Electoral Process in Kenya | Kenya Law". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  9. ^ "NationalAssemblyandPresidentialElectionsActCap7" (PDF). Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Elections Act 24 of 2011 Kenya" (PDF). Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  11. ^ "142. Term of office of President - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  12. ^ "The Constitution | The Presidency". www.president.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Powers and Functions of the President of Kenya". AfroCave. 8 March 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d "132. Functions of the President - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Executive Office of the President | The Presidency". www.president.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Kenya". www.kenyabrussels.com. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  17. ^ "133. Power of mercy - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  18. ^ Kenya Law (2011). "Kenya Law" (PDF). Kenya Law. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Proposal to have police, NIS, DPP in Power of Mercy panel misconceived, unconstitutional". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Functions of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights". AfroCave. 20 July 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  21. ^ "The Vertical Process of Sharing National Revenue in Kenya". AfroCave. 25 May 2020. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  22. ^ "The Purpose of the Equalisation Fund in Kenya". AfroCave. 24 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  23. ^ "Functions of Salaries and Remuneration Commission in Kenya". AfroCave. 19 January 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Powers and Functions of Public Service Commission in Kenya". AfroCave. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Role and Functions of County Governments in Kenya". AfroCave. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  26. ^ "Functions of the Commission on Revenue Allocation in Kenya". AfroCave. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  27. ^ "138. Procedure at presidential election - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  28. ^ "URAIA Handbook on Elective positions in Kenya" (PDF). Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  29. ^ "136. Election of the President - Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". www.klrc.go.ke. Retrieved 24 May 2020.