Ten years of implementing chapter six of the Constitution of Kenya

By Titus Gitonga

To celebrate 10 years since the promulgation of the Constitution on August 27, 2010, our Executive Director Sheila Masinde joined other governance stakeholders to reflect on the gains made under the Constitution of Kenya. The virtual engagement which saw the Commemoration of the first 10 years of implementing Chapter Six of the Constitution enabled Kenyans to reflect on the strides made in the implementation.

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 established a new threshold and value system upon which the social contract between the state and Kenyan citizens would henceforth be based on. The Constitution sought to dramatically change the country’s governance structure to “… a government based on the essential values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law” as espoused under the Constitution’s preamble. The modalities for achieving the desired change in Kenya’s Governance system are set out throughout the Constitution and more specifically from a recognition of the people’s sovereignty under Article 1; Article 10 setting out the ‘National values and principles of governance’; and Chapter Six on ‘Leadership and Integrity’.

The provisions seeking to reform Kenya’s governance structure under the 2010 Constitution cannot be read in isolation as the provisions under Chapter Six are linked to many other provisions also speaking to Kenya’s aspirations on the general values and principles of good governance including the protection of human rights and provisions setting out specific offices, roles and responsibilities across the governance structure.

Progress in Implementation of Chapter Six

Parliament enacted two pieces of legislation as per the requirements of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution: The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act and the Leadership and Integrity Act “to give effect to, and establish procedures and mechanisms for the effective administration of Chapter Six of the Constitution”.

County Assemblies and the Senate have stepped up in the exercise of their mandate to oversee County Governments with impeachment processes being pursued against some Governors following accusations of contravening provisions of Chapter Six.

The Judiciary has recently pronounced judgements demonstrating progressive interpretation of the provisions on leadership and integrity, resulting in the barring of Governors who have been charged with corruption offences from accessing their offices. We have also registered more progress in the recovery of assets.

Shortcomings and Reform areas in the implementation of Chapter Six

The implementation and enforcement of Chapter Six provisions has not been without some setbacks. The Leadership and Integrity Act and other statutes do not have sufficient enforcement mechanisms to ensure that Chapter Six provisions are enforced. The agency tasked with the enforcement of Chapter Six is not vested with sufficient powers and resources to enforce accordingly. The laws are more observed in breach than compliance as a consequence of this weak enforcement structure. These challenges among others as outlined herein may be addressed as follows:

  • Lack of a comprehensive mechanisms for determining compliance with Chapter Six of the Constitution for individuals seeking appointive and elective positions in State and public offices. To address these, a more elaborate mechanism needs to be put in place such as the formalization of the Chapter Six Working Group to participate in joint vetting processes for individuals seeking these positions with such processes being included at the political party and county level to ensure compliance to recommendations from the vetting institutions.
  • Ambiguity previously expressed in judicial interpretations on enforcement of Chapter Six has also been a setback to effective enforcement of leadership and integrity provisions. The Supreme Court more recently declined to give the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights an advisory opinion and instead directed this to be pursued from the High Court. Courts need to dispense with this matter urgently for clear guidance on application and enforcement of the Chapter.
  • Lack of clear procedures for appropriate disciplinary action, prosecution and removal proceedings for elected leaders who contravene Chapter Six. A distinction should be put in place within the law on the disciplinary/removal processes arising from a contravention of Chapter Six distinct from removal arising from criminal processes or those grounds outlined under any provisions for the removal from office of state and public officers.
  • Bureaucratic procedures for conducting lifestyle audits including cumbersome procedures for access to wealth declaration information (of public officers) by relevant enforcement agencies. There is thus need to further enhance legal provisions on the grounds and process for lifestyle audits to be carried out with the supervision of the courts to avoid the abuse of such process for extrajudicial or political ends.
  • Conflict of interest and abuse of office among other violations continue to manifest in public service including in appointive and recruitment, procurement and other key government processes at all levels of government. There is need to establish a clear legal framework for handling breaches of relevant codes at institutional level including legal penalties and criminal sanctions.


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Lucky Philomena Mbaye

Project Assistant, Citizen Demand and Oversight

Philomena is a lawyer, currently undertaking the Advocates Training Program at the Kenya School of Law, following her attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LL. B) from the University of Nairobi. She is also a Certified Professional Mediator (CPM).

With a keen interest in Human Rights, Policy, Democracy, and Governance, she is deeply invested in promoting equitable legal practices and advocating for social justice. Her professional journey includes valuable experiences from (Coulson Harney LLP) Bowmans Law and ENS Africa, where she developed a solid understanding of legal intricacies and demonstrated proficiency in navigating complex legal landscapes. Beyond her legal pursuits, Philomena actively engages in community service through volunteer work with local CSOs, aiming to extend her impact beyond the legal sphere and contribute meaningfully to societal progress.

Thomas Juma

Project Assistant, North-Rift Region

Thomas is a dynamic professional with a wide range of experience and skills in community mobilization, capacity development in governance, media engagement, networking and partnership development. In his new role, he shall be responsible for offering support to the North Rift Regional Office to ensure successful implementation of the projects and assisting in logistical tasks, data collection and documentation. Thomas holds a diploma in public relations, marketing and advertising from ICS college, diploma in project planning and NGO management from Cambridge universal college and diploma in film and television production from Alphax college.

Emily Atieno

Procurement Officer

Emily is a dynamic professional with a diverse range of experience and skills in asset management, vendor relations, process improvement, event management, procurement process and procedures, admin management, communication and interpersonal skills. In her role, she is responsible for all the procurement processes and procedures towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan. Emily holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Africa Nazarene University. She is also a holder of certificate in facilitation skills and Diploma in Business Management.

George Kiondo

Finance and Investments Manager

George is a dynamic professional with a diverse range of experience and skills in financial and project management, couching and mentoring, monitoring and evaluation, financial reporting and procurement amongst others.

In his new role, is responsible for overseeing the work of finance, investments and business development towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan.

George holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration from USIU, a Masters of Business Administration from the African Nazarene University, CPA-K and CPS-K qualifications from Strathmore Business School.

Linet Mukhula

Project Officer, Natural Resources and Climate Governance - Land, Extractives and Energy

Linet is a highly dynamic and versatile professional with extensive experience across various domains. She possesses a comprehensive skill set essential for effective project and organizational management. This includes expertise in Program Management and Reporting, ensuring strategic initiatives are designed and implemented to meet objectives with accurate reporting on outcomes. She excels in Coordination and Relationship Management, forging strong connections with stakeholders to drive collaboration and achieve shared goals.

She is responsible for implementing governance projects and working with communities and government with an emphasis on Land, Extractives and Energy towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan.

Linet holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Community Development from Kenyatta University with a Diploma in Public Relations Management and Advance Certificate in Business Management from the Kenya Institute of Management. She’s currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Development Studies (Economic Planning)- thesis level at the Management University of Africa.

Anno Annet Andisi

Intern, North-Rift Region

Annet is a dynamic professional with a diverse range of experience and skills in community engagement and advocacy, training, strategy and policy development as well as project management.

She is responsible for offering support to the North Rift Regional Office to ensure the successful implementation of the projects and documenting of legal aid cases for walk-in and call-in clients towards achieving the TI-Kenya’s strategic plan.

Annet holds a Bachelor of Bachelor of Political science and Public administration from Kisii University.

Jane Kingori

Grants Manager, USAID USAWA Program

Jane is a finance and grants specialist with a Master of Science in Organizational Development, Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and CPA (K). She has over 15 years’ of experience in strengthening organizations ‘capacities for sustainable program delivery through integration of best grants and financial management practices and compliance with different donor rules and regulations including USAID, UKAID, DANIDA, GCERF, SIDA and EU among others. She has served as the grants management technical lead at Faith To Action Network and Act Change Transform.