Kenyans Usher in New Constitution
An overwhelming 67 percent of voters approved Kenya’s new constitution, decentralizing political power by creating a senate and giving more power to local leaders.
Now, Kenya has begun the process of transition to the new constitution. While many provisions in the document take immediate effect, changes to the governing structure will be phased in gradually, and the new set of laws is not expected to be fully operational until after the presidential elections in 2012.
In an historic ceremony on Friday August 27, 2010, thousands of Kenyans gathered to witness the establishment of a new constitution. The implementation of the new document was hailed across the country as the birth of the second Kenyan Republic.
The historic ceremony took place just three weeks after Kenya approved the new constitution through an August 4th referendum. The day was billed as a celebration of national unity and diversity, with much symbolism reinforcing that message.
With the thousands in attendance looking on President Mwai Kibaki signed the Instruments of Promulgation and declared Kenya’s new constitution, “I, Mwai Kibaki, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya, declare that the constitution set out in the schedule shall be the new constitution of Kenya, in effect from the 27th August, the year 2010.”
The new document paves the ways for new counties, which will enjoy some autonomy and a share of the national budget, aimed at encouraging development in rural Kenya, where a majority of people live a subsistence lifestyle.
Media and Advocacy Programme