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Part II Federal and Hybrid Federal Systems in Africa, 8 Implementation of Devolution under Kenya’s 2010 Constitution: Political Resistance and the Struggle for the Ideals of Constitutionalism

Conrad M. Bosire

From: Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Africa

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad, Nico Steytler

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 19 January 2021

This chapter studies how, in 2010, Kenya—like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)—tried to put an end to decades of dictatorial ‘imperial’ presidential rule during which ethnicity was given undue prominence. To counter this ethnic bias of the central state in Kenya, the constitutional drafters introduced devolution, along with a strict separation of powers, as a key means of ensuring limited central government and inclusive county-level government. Once again, the influence of the South African Constitution is pronounced, with many of its concepts and principles having been borrowed in the Kenyan context. However, the new system of devolution is facing considerable obstacles from centrally entrenched power elites. The chapter then points out how the emerging practices in the implementation of the devolved system and the Constitution generally reveal a struggle to live up to the principles of constitutionalism.

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