Transformative nature of Kenya’s constitution

The current constitution of Kenya was promulgated in 2010. It could happen only after a long process, full of dramatic twists. But at its origin was a clamour of Kenyans for freedom, which ushered in liberation from colonialism and the fall of a one-party rule in 1990’s. The constitution has its distinctive features, but its identity is only emerging amidst concerns about its implementation. What makes the identity of the Kenyan constitution is its purpose: to transform the government and overcome the legacies of colonialism and dictatorship. As for the constitutional identity, the lessons being learned: the inclusive constitution-making process, rather than a deal negotiated with colonisers, robust guarantees of judicial independence to do away with the tradition of the subdued judiciary, separation of powers to check on the imperial presidency and devolved government accommodating ethnic diversity, rather than exploiting ethnic differences.