|Jurisdiction||Republic of Kenya|
|Legislature||Parliament of Kenya|
|Meeting place||Parliament Buildings|
|Leader||President of Kenya|
|Appointer||Direct popular vote|
|Main organ|| Cabinet |
(22 Ministries of Kenya)
The Government of the Republic of Kenya (GoK) is the national government of the republic of Kenya which is composed of 47 Counties, each county with its own semi-autonomous governments. The national government is composed of three arms:The Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. Each arm is independent of the other and their individual roles are set by the Constitution of Kenya. The full name of the country is the "Republic of Kenya". Its official Swahili name is 'Jamhuri ya Kenya'. Other terms such as GoK, GK and Serikali are popularly used to refer to the Kenyan government.
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 first 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 eight provinces:
The country is a representative democracy legislatively, and a direct democracy in the election of its president, who is leader of the Executive branch of government. The current president of the Republic of Kenya is Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Kenya's constitution states that it is a multi-party democratic state founded on the national values and principles of governance referred to in Article 10.
There are three arms of government, which operate independently and work to balance each other, based upon the "Separation of powers" principle. Before the 2013 general election the Judiciary wouldn't be considered as independent as it is today, and before the 1992 elections Kenya wasn't a multiparty state - all power was centered in the Executive with Daniel arap Moi as President.
The legislative branch includes the National Assembly and the Senate.
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.
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 4 presidents. The longest serving president was Daniel arap Moi who served for 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.
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 Deputy President's functionsare to be the main assistant to the President and shall deputise for the President in the execution of the President's functions. He must be qualified to become president in order to take the office as he is first in line in the order of presidential succession.
The Deputy President as the president is limited to two terms in office.
The Government is run by the Ministries of Kenya. The constitution limits the number of Ministries to a minimum of 14 and maximum of 22. The headings 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 servantse.g. teachers in public schools or diplomats fall under one of the ministries in the Cabinet.
The Judiciary is charged with applying and upholding the law. This is done through a legal system consisting of courts.
The Judiciary is led by the Chief Justice, formerly led by David Kenani Maraga. The highest court is the Supreme Court whose decisions are binding on all the other courts.
The courts are divided into two levels: Superior Courts and Subordinate Courts. Superior Courts are the higher courts and are presided over by Judges. These are the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court which hears almost every type of case.,the Environment and Land Court and the Industrial Court.
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.
All Judges, including the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice, are selected by the Judicial Service Commission but are officially appointed by the President.However, the persons selected to be the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice must first be vetted by Parliament before being appointed by the President. All other Judges do not need Parliamentary vetting and approval. Magistrates who preside over the subordinate courts are selected and appointed by the Judicial Service Commission without the involvement of the President or Parliament.
Elections in Kenyathat predate 1992 were not multiparty elections. On independence, Kenya voted for Kenyatta as President. However, over the next few years Kenya slowly transitioned from being a democracy to being a one-party state. Kenyatta's regime greatly oversaw the gradual limitation of the democratic system. Kenyatta died in 1978; his vice President Moi took over and in 1982 the country was officially made a one-party state with every other party being outlawed. This was met by resistance over the next decade or so. In 1992 Kenya's first multiparty elections were held.
Ever since then elections have been held every 5 years. In 2013 the general election paved the way for semi-autonomy of the 47 counties of Kenya. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent won and his coalition the Jubilee Alliance now controls the majority in both houses of Parliament, i.e. the National Assembly and the Senate.
The state allows universal suffrage based on the aspiration for fair representation and equality. The only people not allowed to vote are people convicted of an election offence during the preceding five years. Elections in Kenya are overseen by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
The Counties of Kenya have devolved functionsof 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 Countyare 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.
The politics of Kenya take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Kenya is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system in accordance with a new constitution passed in 2010.
The president of the Republic of Kenya is the head of state and head of government of Kenya. The president leads the executive arm of the Government of Kenya and is the commander-in-chief of the Kenya Defence Forces. The official residence of the president is State House, Nairobi.
Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is a Kenyan politician and the current President of the Republic of Kenya. He served as the member of parliament (MP) for Gatundu South from 2002 to 2013. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister from 2007 to 2013. Currently, he is a member and the party leader of the Jubilee Party of Kenya. Uhuru was previously associated with the Kenya Africa National Union (KANU) before founding The National Alliance (TNA), one of the allied parties that campaigned for his re-election during the 2017 general elections and later on went to form a merger with the William Samoei Ruto's United Republican Party (URP) to form the Jubilee Party. Uhuru's tenure has been marred by endless cases of corruption and impunity.
Raila Amolo Odinga is a Kenyan politician who served as the Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013. He has been the Leader of Opposition in Kenya since 2013. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Langata from 1992 to 2013. Raila Odinga served in the Cabinet of Kenya as Minister for Energy from 2001 to 2002, and as the Minister for Roads, Public Works and Housing from 2003 to 2005. Odinga was appointed High Representative for Infrastructure Development at the African Union Commission in 2018.
The Deputy President of Kenya is the second-highest executive official in the Kenyan government. The Deputy President is the principal assistant of the President and deputises for the President in executive functions. Prior to the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, the Deputy President was known as the Vice President. While the Vice President was appointed by the President, the Deputy President is elected as part of a joint ticket with the President of Kenya he or she serves. In addition, unlike the previous situation where the Vice President would usually have a Cabinet Ministry to hold, the Deputy President is not permitted to hold any other state or public office.
The Senate is the upper house of the Parliament of Kenya. The Senate was first established as part of Kenya's 1963 Constitution. After being abolished in 1966, the Senate was re-established by the 2010 Constitution.
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.
General elections were held in Kenya on 4 March 2013. Voters elected the President, members of the National Assembly and newly formed Senate. They were the first elections held under the new constitution, which was approved in a 2010 referendum, and were also the first run by the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). They coincided with the 2013 Kenyan local elections.
The counties of Kenya are geographical units envisioned by the 2010 Constitution of Kenya as the units of devolved government. The powers are provided in Articles 191 and 192, and in the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya and the County Governments Act of 2012. The counties are also single-member constituencies for the election of members of parliament to the Senate of Kenya and special women members of parliament to the National Assembly of Kenya. As of 2013 general elections, there are 47 counties whose size and boundaries are based on the 47 legally recognised Districts of Kenya. Following the re-organisation of Kenya's national administration, counties were integrated into a new national administration with the national government posting county commissioners to represent it at the counties.
The Supreme Court of Kenya is the highest court in Kenya. It is established under Article 163 of the Kenyan Constitution. As the highest court in the nation, its decisions are binding and set precedent on all other courts in the country.
Jackton Boma Ojwang is a Kenyan lawyer and a retired Associate justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya. Upon retiring from the Supreme Court, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed him as chairperson of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
The Attorney General of Kenya is the head of the Kenyan State Law Office, the principal legal adviser to the government of Kenya, and ex officio Member of Parliament and Cabinet. The current attorney general, Paul Kihara Kariuki, was nominated by the President Uhuru Kenyatta on 13 February 2018. His nomination was approved by the National Assembly on the 28 March 2018, after the requisite vetting process.
The inauguration of Uhuru Kenyatta took place on 9 April 2013. Kenyatta won 50.07% of the vote in the 2013 presidential election, after the supreme court dismissed the Raila petition on 30 March 2013. According to Article 141 (2) (b) of the constitution, in case the Supreme Court upholds the victory of the president-elect, the swearing in will take place on "the first Tuesday following the seventh day following the date on which the court renders a decision declaring the election to be valid." The event was held at Kasarani Stadium.
The Kenya Presidential Election Petition of 2013 was an election petition aiming to declare the Kenya presidential election 2013 invalid. The Petition was filed at the Supreme Court of Kenya on 16 March 2013.
General elections were held in Kenya on 8 August 2017 to elect the President, members of the National Assembly and Senate. They coincided with the 2017 Kenyan local elections which elected Governors and representatives in the devolved governments.
David Kenani Maraga is a Kenyan lawyer and jurist. He was the 14th chief justice and president of the Supreme Court of Kenya from October 2016 till his retirement in January 2021.
Philomena Mbete Mwilu is a Kenyan lawyer and judge, who has served as the Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya and Vice President of the Supreme Court of Kenya since 28 October 2016. Following the retirement of Chief Justice David Maraga, and before Martha Koome was appointed as the Chief Justice, she served as Acting Chief Justice and President of the Supreme court of Kenya from 11 January 2021 to 19 May 2021, making her the first woman to hold that office
Granton Graham Samboja is a Kenyan politician and media executive currently serving as the second governor of Taita Taveta County in the Republic of Kenya. He was elected into office at the General Elections held on 8 August 2017. He is a member of the Wiper Democratic Movement. Samboja capitalized on his background in the media and his strong links with President Uhuru Kenyatta to get into politics. His education background remains the subject of controversy.
The next Kenyan general election is scheduled to take place on 9 August 2022. Voters will elect the President, and members of the National Assembly and Senate.
Lady Justice Martha Karambu Koome is a Kenyan advocate and Human Rights Defender, serving as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya since 21 May 2021. She is the first woman to serve as Chief Justice in Kenya.
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