In 2010, during a referendum, the people of Kenya enacted and gave themselves a new constitution through an overwhelming vote. The Kenya Constitution 2010 is ranked among the most progressive constitutions in the world as it marked a key milestone in the Kenya democracy.
The adoption of the Kenya Constitution 2010 and its consequent operationalization after the 2013 General Elections brought to an end centralization of government resources and power. The enthusiasm of the people of Kenya at this moment clearly showed that they felt left out of the Nairobi centralized development.
They wanted a system that would bring closer to them government services and resources. Additionally, to the accommodation of their voice in making of decisions that affect their pertinent concerns. The people hoped to actively participate in the determination of their own development.
Chapter eleven of the Kenya Constitutions envisages how devolution should work, while schedule four, part two establishes the roles of the County Governments. The objectives of the devolved system of governance as enshrined in article 174 of the Kenya Constitution are as follows:
- to promote democratic and accountable exercise of power;
- to foster national unity by recognizing diversity;
- to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;
- to recognize the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development;
- to protect and promote the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized communities;
- to promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya;
- to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya;
- to facilitate the decentralization of State organs, their functions and services, from the capital of Kenya; and…
- to enhance checks and balances and the separation of powers.
The dream of the people of Kenya as captured herein is effected by the following devolution laws:
- Constitution of Kenya, 2010
- County Governments Act, No. 17 of 2012
- Transition to Devolved Government Act, No. 7 of 2013
- Urban Areas and Cities Act, No. 13 of 2011
- County Governments Public Finance Management Transition Act, No 8 of 2013
- Public Finance Management Act, No. 18 of 2012
- Intergovernmental Relations Act, No. 2 of 2012
- Basic Education Act, No 14 of 2013
- National Government Co-ordination Act, No. 1 of 2013
- Constituencies Development Fund Act, No. 30 of 2013
- Public Service (Values and Principles) (No.1A of 2015)