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The People’s Choice

The Report of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission

Short Version

Dated, Sealed and Issued by the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission in Mombasa at 10.00 a.m. on Wednesday the 18th day of September, 2002.

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The Constitution of Kenya Review Commission is pleased to publish this report on its work and recommendations for a new constitution. A longer version of this report, in three volumes, will be published very shortly. The Commission is also publishing at the same time as this document a report on each of the 210 constituency constitutional forums which were responsible for mobilising people in constituencies for participation in the review. A draft bill for the new constitution has been prepared and will be published on 25 September 2002. With these publications the Commission will have concluded its principal tasks, which were to conduct and facilitate civic education, listen to Kenyans and recommend proposals for constitutional reform. Our report and recommendations are being offered to the public for them to study and comment on them before the commencement of the National Constitutional Forum in late October 2002 to debate, amend and adopt the Commission’s report and draft bill. In the face of extraordinarily difficult circumstances, with attempts internal and external to derail the process, the Commission has focused on its tasks and tried to fulfil our mission to the best of our abilities.

The Commission has been extremely honoured to have been entrusted with this task. It realises the great importance of a new constitution as the long presidency of President Daniel arap Moi comes to an end and as Kenyans look forward to a new future. It has listened very carefully to the views of Kenyans throughout the country. It has been touched and moved by their stories and found much wisdom in their recommendations. We have analysed social, political, economic and constitutional developments in Kenya over the last four decades, and tried to imagine the future in which the new constitution will operate.

For all of us in the Commission, this has also been a journey of self-discovery. We have learnt a great deal about our country and people that we did not know before. Although we have been quite shocked at the levels of poverty in which the majority of our people live, the sad decline in the economy, the ethnicisation of politics and the violence which accompanies it, we are confident that given the right system of governance and enlightened leadership committed to goals of unity and equitable development, Kenya can rapidly recover its former place as one of the most developed economies in Africa. We set out in this report the aims, which we expect to achieve through our constitutional proposals, which place people at the centre of politics and development. We know that people have high expectations of the review and we know that the new constitution makes many promises to them. We believe that if our proposals are fairly implemented, those promises can be delivered. We plead with our leaders not to let the people down.

Yash Ghai

18 September 2002


The present Constitution of Kenya Review Constitution arose as a result of the merger of two parallel process. After the failure of the government and civil society to agree on a common process of review, the Ufungamano Initiative set up the People’s Commission of Kenya to review the Constitution in June 2000, under the chairmanship of the late Dr. Oki Ooko-Ombaka. In October 2000 Parliament passed the Constitution of Kenya Review Act under which the 15 members Constitution of Kenya Review Commission headed by Professor Yash Pal Ghai was established. In March 2001 agreement was reached on the merger of the Commissions and in June 2001 the Constitution of Kenya Review Act was amended to increase the membership of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission by expanding the membership of the Commission by including 10 members from the People’s Commission and 2 nominees of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution.

Original appointments to the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission were gazetted on November 10th 2000, as follows:

1. Prof. Yash P. Ghai Member and Chairperson
2. Ms. Kavetsa Adagala Member
3. Mrs. Phoebe M. Asiyo Member
4. Pastor Zablon F. Ayonga Member
5. Mr. Ahmed I. Hassan Member
6. Mr. John M. Kangu Member
7. Bishop Bernard N. Kariuki Member
8. Mr. Githu Muigai Member
9. Prof. H.W.O. Okoth-Ogendo Member
10. Mr. Domiziano M. Ratanya Member
11. Prof. Ahmed I. Salim Member
12. Dr. Mohamed Swazuri Member
13. Mr. Keriako Tobiko Member
14. Mr. Paul M. Wambua Member
15. Mrs. Alice Yano Member
16. The Attorney General Ex-officio Member
17. Mr. Arthur O. Owiro Ex-officio member & Secretary

The following 10 members from the People’s Commission of Kenya were gazetted on 11th June, 2001:

1. Dr. Oki Ooko-Ombaka
2. Mrs. Abida Ali-Aroni
3. Dr. Charles M. Bagwasi
4. Ms. Nancy M. Baraza
5. Mr. Isaac Lenaola
6. Dr. Wanjiku M. Kabira
7. Mr. Ibrahim A. Lethome
8. Ms. Salome W. Muigai
9. Mr. Abubakar Zein Abubakar
10. Mr. Riunga L. Raiji

At the same time the following, as nominees of the Select Committee, were gazetted:

1. Dr. Mosonik arap Korir
2. Dr. Abdirizak A. Nunow

Between June 2001 and September 2002, two significant changes took place in the membership of the reconstituted Commission. The first was the resignation of Mr. Arthur O. Owiro as the Secretary and Commissioner in August 2001 and the appointment of his replacement Patrick L. O. Lumumba on 4th October, 2001. On 15th July 2002 Dr. Oki Ooko-Ombaka, the First Vice-Chairperson of the Commission died. Dr. Andronico O. Adede whose appointment was gazetted on 13th August 2002 replaced him.
Table of Contents
Chapter I: Introduction - 122Kb ~ 1 min (29 pages)
1.   The Background
2.   The Process
3.   What the People told us: An Overview
4.   What we have tried to do in the new constitution
5.   Over to the People
6.   The Document
Chapter II: The Draft Constitution: Values, Principles, Rights and Policies - 75Kb < 1min (20 pages)
1.   The Preamble
2.   National Values and Aspirations
3.   The People of Kenya
4.   Human Rights
5.   Land, Environment, Economy and Natural Resources
6.   Environment
7.   Economy
8.   Public Finance
9.   Kenya and the World
Chapter III: The Draft Constitution - 109Kb ~ 1 min (35 pages)
1.   The Institutions and Processes of Government
2.   Parliament and its Members
3.   Representation of the People: The Electoral System
4.   Political Parties
5.   The President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ministers
6.   Devolved Government and Local Government
7.   Elections of the President, the National Assembly, the National Council and the Devolved Authorities
8.   Courts and the Legal System
9.   Other Aspects of the Legal System
10.   The Penal System
11.   Public Service, Police and Defence Forces
Chapter IV: Constitutionality - 38Kb < 1min (9 pages)
1.   What Kenyans told the Commission
2.   Proposed Constitutional Bodies
3.   Principles Governing the Constitution of Independent Commissions
4.   The President as Guardian of the Constitution
5.   Amending the Constitution
Chapter V: Transition - 21Kb < 1min (3 pages)
1.   Maintaining the old
2.   Bringing in the new
Download complete document - 289Kb ~ 2 min (96 pages)

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