The term government refers to the exercise of authority over a political unit. After independence in 1963 Kenya adopted a parliamentary government. It is made up of

  1. The Legislature.
  2. The Executive
  3. The Judiciary

Electoral sytem and process.

It is a way in  which elections are conducted . General elections are held on the 2nd Tuesday of August every five year.

During the general elections, registered voter cast ballot for the president, Mps, senetors, governors and members of county assemblies.

Electoral process in Kenya is supervised by the independent electoral and boundaries commission.

IEBC. This an autonomous body created by the consititution for the purpose of exercising electrol process.

Composition of IEBC.

Consists of a maximum of 9 members headed by the chairman.

All commissioners appointed by the president with approval by the national assembly for a single term of 6 years.

Functions of IEBC.

  • Registration of voters and maintance of voters roll.
  • Regulation of nomination process.
  • Ensures voters registration.
  • Registration of candidates for elections.
  • Settlement of election disputes from nomination but excluding position after declaration of results.
  • Development of cord of conduct for candidates and parties conducting elections.
  • Regulation of funds that may be spent by a candidate or party in respect to any election.
  • Supervisions of the actual elections day by facilitating observantion, monitery, transporting of items, evaluation and announcing results.
  • Allocation of political parties’ nominatated seats proportion to total number of seats.

Electoral units.

This includes constituencies, counties and words.

The IEBC has the mandate to review at regular intervals the constituency and word boundaries, taking into consideration population geographical features, means of commonunication and interest and cultural ties.

The electoral process.

The stages of the electoral process.

Voter registration.

  • This is an on-going process for one to qualify as a voter hence one must be.
  • An adult citizen aged 18 years on date of registration.
  • Be of sound mind.
  • A Kenyan citizen.
  • Should not have been convicted of an election offence.

Civic education.

This is carried out by the IEBC to farmiliarise the voter on the voting process e.g. balloting, symbol, and registration among others.


The parliament is set to pass legislation on process of nomination.

Qualification for the various candidates are:

  1. Nationa government.


  • Kenyan citizen by birth.
  • Should be qualified to stand as a member of parliament.
  • Should be nominated by a political party or an independent candidate.
  • Should be 35 years of age and above.
  • Must be nominated by atlist 200 voters from each of the majority of the counties.


  • Is a holder os state officer with exception of offices of president, v.p or m.p.
  • If a person owes allegiance in a foreign state.
  • If he dies.
  • Resigns in writing to speaker of national assembly.
  • Found physically or mentally incapable of performing functions of office by the national assembly.
  • Is removed from the office if an impeachment/change is upheld against him or her by members of the senate.

Procedure at presidential Elections.

  • If only one candidate is nominated and cleared by the IEBC, then that candidate is declared elected. However, if two or more candidates are nominated an election is held in each constituency.
  • All registered letters are entitled to vote.
  • The vote is taken by secrete ballot on one day. The voiter are counted in the pooling stations are the result sent to the national terling centre.
  • The IEBC tallies and verifies they count and announces the results.
  • A candidate must do the following to be declared as a president.
  • Receive more than half of all the votes cast in the election.
  • Gain atleast 25% of the votes cast in more than a half of the countires.
  • If no candidate meets these conditions the frehs election is held within 30 days.
  • In new election the only candidates are: – the candidates who received the greater number of votes.
  • Then the candidate with the second greatest number of votes.
  • The candidate who receive the highest number of votes in the run-off election is declared the winner

Disputes in presidnetal election

  • In case a person is dissatisfied with the outcome of the plresidnetial election, the following procedure is to be followed.
  • Petition is filled in the supereme court within 14 dyays after the date of the declaration of results.
  • Within 14 days of the petition the supreme court years and determine the petition. His decision is always final.
  • The Supreme Court determines the election to be valid the fresh election is done within 60 days.

Swearing in of the president.

It’s done after the 1st Tuesday, after the 14th of the declaration of the results by the C.A and the president hold office of 5 years and cannot serve for more than two terms

Vacancy in the office of the president

  • The president dies
  • The president resigns in writing the speaker fo the national assembly.
  • The president is found by tribunal appointed by the CJ to be incapable in performing the functions in the office of the president than approved by majority in the national assembly. When the national assembly passes the motion of embitchemnt against the president this must be improved by the senate.
  • If the pettion had been successful in the spring court.

Parliamentary Election

Like presidential elections parliamentary elections are held on the 2nd Tuesday in August in every 5 years.

Voters in every constitutency elect representativesto the national assembly,while voters in each county elect representatives to the senate, in addition, voters in each county elect wome ref to the national assembly.

Qualifications for election as a member of parliament

  • A registered voter
  • Certisfied the scribed educational party or is an independence candidate.
  • Of sound mind
  • Not bankrupt
  • Is not having a sentence of imprisonmen texhibiiitng 
  • Has been a Kenyan citizen for atleast 10 years of election.
  • Is not a state officer other than a member of parliament.

Procedure at parliamentary election

Days after parliament is dissolved the speaker of respective houses give notice in writing of the vacancies to the independent electrol boundaries comm. (IEBC)

Political parties’ normianate their candidates within a specific period, the nominees are represented to the IEBC for clearance of a given date.

They must have atleast 1000 registered voters in the constituiency interms of support.

In senate atleast 2000 are registered voters in the country.

Candidates are given 21days to compaign and sell their policies to the voters.

The pooling day, voters cast their voters in their pooling statics between 6am – 6pm.

The ballots are counted at the pooling station and the results announced.

The results are then taken to the terling centres where they terlied, verified and winners declared.

Right of recall

The electorates have the right to remove from office their member of parliament before expiry of 5 years term through rules.

Election of county officials.

County government.

 Deputy count governors.

 Member of the county assemble (MCA).

Election of the county governor


  • A registered voter.
  • Satifies prescribed educational moral and ethical requirements.
  • Either nominated by a political party or an independent candidate supported by atleast   voers in the world
  • Should be of sound mind
  • He/she is not declared bankrupt
  • He/she is not found to have misused of abused the public office

The county governor may be removed from office

On any of the following grounds if he violates constitution.

If he/she commits a crime, abuse of office or misconduct by the holder.

The holder is mentally or physically incapacitated to hold the office.

However, a vacancy may occur in the office of the governor if the hodler of office dies.

The holder of the office resignes in writing the speaker of the county assembly.

The holder of the office ceases to be eligible to be elected as a county governor.

The holder of the office is convicted of any offence punishable by imprisonment for atleast 12 months.

A person is not allowed to hold the office of the county govenement for more than 2 terms.

Elections of members of county assembly

This is done by voters in the ward and they serve for terms of sycars.

Qualifications for elections of MCS

  • Is not a holder of public officer
  • Be a registered voter with a satisfied education moral and ethical requirement.
  • Is of sound mind.
  • Not bankrupt.
  • Nominated by political party
  • He/she an independent candidate supported by atleast
  • Too registerd voters in the world
  • Should not be serving a sentence of imprisonment exceeding 6 montsh.
  • Be a Kenyan citizen by atleast 10 years.
  • Has not within the previous 5 years had office or a member of IEBC


This are elctions which ar held to till an elective office which faults vacant before the expiry of the specified time its held within 90 dyas of the occurenace of a vacancy in the office of amember of a national assembly, senate of county assembly.

Conditions that may necesssitate a by-election

  • Member of Parliament dies
  • A Member of Parliament mises and consecutive seatings fo the relevant houses without permission frm the speaker. Member resigns from the party that sponsored him/her to parliament.
  • When a member is mentally or physically incapacitated to perform his/her functions.
  • A member seaces to be a Kenyan Citizen
  • A member is jailed for aperiod extending 6 months.
  • A member is declared bankrupt.


It has 9 commissioners.

A Chairperson is appointed by the president but approved by the national assembly.

A vice – chairperson elected by the commissioners.

A Secretary appointed by the commission.

A chief exectuvie officer appointed by the common.

Functions of IEBC

  • Conducts and surprise elections and referendum
  • The continous registration of voters.
  • The regular revision of voters’ role
  • Review the names and boundaries of constituencies’ wards.
  • Regulate the process by which parties nominates candidates for elections.
  • Settle electrol disputes arising from nominations.
  • Register candidates for election
  • Conduct voter education.
  • Facilitate the observation, monitoring and evolution of elections.
  • Develop a cord of conduct and parties contesting elections.
  • Appoints election officials such as the returning officers, preciding officers and their deputies and polling clerks.

Returning officers (RO)

They are appointed form each constitutency

There role are

They receive nomination papers from candidates.

They distribute election materials to polling stations

Supervise poll results fromt the polling statins.

Tally and verify results and announce the winner/

Tally presidential results from constuency or county and relay them to the national terling centre.


They are appointed arm each polling station to see that every voter votes are only ones.

A mark of usually not easily removable ink is put on the voters’ small finger.

To help voters who are unable to mark their ballot papers.

To seal the ballot taxes after voting is completed in the presence of part agents.

Count ballot paper in the presence of party agents in voting stations and announce results.


There Are 2; National and County government

  1. National government

It has 3 arms 1. The executive

                        2. The legislature

                        3. The judiciary.

Formation begins with a general election where citizen elect members of the legislative and the president. Person elected as a president becomes the head of the executie arm of the government and appoints cabinet secretary and other senior civil servants and approvedby the national assembly.

The judiciary is made up of judges, magistrate and judicial officers.

The C.J (Chief Justice) and the (DCJ) is ppointed by the president allowing recommendation over the judicial service community and approved by the national assembly.

Magistrate and judicial officers are appointed by the judicial service commission.

County Government

It operates at county level

Each of the 47 counties has a government which enjoys powers.

Dedicated to it by a national government.

The governor, D. G, county assembly and the executive committee.

The governor appoints members of the county executive committee from persons who are not members of the county assembly and must be approved by the county assembly


  1. The legistlture(The Parliament)

Its referre to as parliament.It’s a bi-cameral, that is national assistant and the senate.

It’s the law making aim of the government

  1. National assembly

It’s the law house of the legislature

There are 290 constitunecy in Kenya

Some members are nominated to represent seical interest groups.

On its 1st seating member elect the speaker.

  1. Senate

This is the upper house of the legislature

Has 47 members and some are also nominated to represent special interest groups.

The senate also elects the speaker who is an ex-official member.


  • It has 350 members.
  • 290 elected members representing the constituencies
  • 7 women elected by registered voters from each county.
  • 2 nominated members by parliamentary political parties.
  • The speaker who is an ex-official member.


It has68 members, 47 elected members representated counties.

Women members nominated by political parties represented in the senate.

Two members 1 woman and 1 man are represented the youth

Two members, 1 woman and 1 man to represent persons with disabiltieis.

The speaker who is an ex-official member.


  • Represent the people of the constituency and special interest groups.
  • They liberate on and resovle issues of concern to the people.
  • It makes and amends laws.
  • It determines the allocation of national revenue between the national and county government.
  • Approves government expenditure.
  • Supervises national revenue and expenditure
  • Review in conduct the office of the president/deputy president and other state officers.
  • Approves declarations of war and extensives of state of emergency
  • Superrises theoperation of state organs.


  • Participatin in law making function of the parliament by debating and approving bills conserning a countires. Representing and protecting the interest of the county and the government.
  • Determines the allocation of national revenue among counties.
  • Oversees expenditure of national revenue allocated to the county government.
  • Participated in considering and determing and resolutions to remove the president or deputy president in office.
  • Any initiated may innitate bills concerning the communities.

Process of law making

The legistlature makes law through bills ascended to by the president.

It may originate from national assembly or running mate.

Process of grafting a bill

A bill is a proposed legislation.

They are of two type’s i.e – Private member bills

                                                Public bills

Private member bill

Grafted by a member of parliament of the member may draft the bill him/herself seeks assistance from a qualifed bill drafters the member publishes the draft billof the Kenyan gazette for the members of public acqouint themselves with its content and against ammendements.

The member then presents the graft bill in the flow of the house.

The public bill is also referred to as government bill.

The process of grafting public bill begins from the ministry which develops a genral policy concerning the proposed bill.

The general policy is submitted to the Kenya Law Review Commision (KLRC).

This body is judged with the responsibility of reviewing the policies from the new bill and formulating draft bills.

The draft bill from (KLRC) is presented by the Antony general who makes suggestions for improvements.

The AG also insures the graft bill is invalid with the General government policy.

The AG forwards the graft bill to the commission of impleming of the constitution the (CIC).

The CIC insured that the letter and the spirit at the new constituoin is respected and improves the bill.

Ile CIC returns the bills of the AG who enables it before the cabinet for debate and removal. The cabinet empowers the cabinet secretary to establish the bill on the Kenyan gazette for members at the public to acquint themselves to the content and make the suggestions.

The bill is then tabled for aparliament. For a bill becomes law it has to go through the following stages.

1st reading

The bill is introduced in the house.

It allows members to appoint themselves in the content to debate is permiteed at this stage.

The Mps are only required to approve or improve such intended legislation on the countries law.

It’s approved it moves to the 2nd reading

2nd reading

Where discussion begins.Debated in detail.

Amendments are proposed/suggested.

At this stage, the bill can either be rejected or be discussed or its discussion postponed for 6 months to give the concerned ministry time to and draft the bill

It the bill services this stage; it goes to the 2nd stage.


Parliament turns itself into a committee at the whole house or a smaller committee with a view to make improvements on the bill recommendation made during the 2nd reading.

Report stage

This involves taking the bill back to parliament in its improved form.

The mps are also given opportunity to confirm that the suggestions and recommendationas at the committee stage have been incoperated into the bill. That sets the stage for 3rd reading.further debates takes palce and even additional amendments may be made on the bill voting takes place if the MPs approve its passed to the next stage.


After the presidents ascend the bill becomes an act of parliament and one of the laws of the country.

It’s then published in the Kenyan gazette for public knowledge and awarness


Drafting of the bill, Anthorny Generals chamber

Snap 2023 04 28 at 18.49.49


This means that the parliament is more powerful than other two institutions of government like executive and judicialry

Is exercised through legislation, financial.

Non – confidence mortion and general catesism.

It can make of repeal any law or constitute.

It can altar the constitution declare war of a state of emergency

There is no law that can override any made by parliament.

The members of parliament are immude to prosectution for whatever they say in parliament while contributiong to the debates. This is what is known as parliamentatry immunity.


  • He’s the spokes person and the head of the house.
  • He precides over the proceeding of the house.
  • Dicpilines errants members and interpretes standing orders to the members.
  • Effects the dignity and authority of the house presents parliament of official fucnciton outside the house.
  • The speaker of the national assembly is the chairperson or the parliamentary sevice commission.
  • Seeks in new elected MPs.

Functions of the clerk in the parliament

  • The chief administrato and acoounting officer of the house.
  • Advices the speaker in the order of the use business and lists a notice of morion.
  • Tea prepares and maintains parliamentary records of the hosue proceedings in the Heansard affairs copies of bills and submit them for presidneatila escort.
  • Adives and re-ordinate the work of the staff of the house.
  • Maintains a liberty for the use by members of the house.


It consist of the following

The speaker of the national assembly as chairperson vice chairperson elected by members, 7 members appointed by parliament from among its members 1 man and 1 woman appointed by the parliament from among persons who are experienced in public affaires but are not members of the parliament.

The clerk at the senate as a secretary.


  • Provide services and facilities for efficient and effective functioning of the parliament.
  • Constituting of offices and parliamentary service.
  • Appointing and supervising office holders in parliament service.
  • Prepare annual estimates of expenditure of parliamnentary service and submit them for approval by national assembly.
  • Promoting the ideal of parliamentary democracy in colaboratin with the relevant orgnanisation.


To implements the law and policies of government is headed by the president.


  • Commander in chief of the armed forces.
  • Power to exercise the exectuve authority of the republic.
  • Power to uphold and safeguard the constitution and suprimity of the republic.
  • Powers of merely e.g paddons persons convicted of offence.
  • Powers for nominate, appoint or dismiss cabinet secretary and other officials.
  • The power to constitutions honurs in the name of the people and the republic.
  • Chairperson of the national security.


  • Addresses the openings and special seating in parliament.
  • Reports once evey year in a chiefs to the nations on measures taken and progress achieved in realizing national values.
  • Chair cabine meeting
  • Nominated and with approval of nationa assembly.
  • Appoints or dismise cabine secretary, attoney general and other senior state officers.
  • Receive foreign diplomatic and consider represents.
  • Directs and co-ordinates the functions of minister and government departments.
  • Confers governors in the name of the people and the republic
  • Declare state of emergency
  • Declare war with approval of parliament.
  • Insures the international obligations of the republic are fullfiled through the actions of the relevant cabinet secretaries.


  • Performs any other functions assigned by the president.
  • Is amember of the cabinet.
  • The principle assistant of the president and deputies the president decides.



President, the deputy president, the Attorney General, Cabint secretaries who are not less that 14 and not more then 22.

The cabinet se are not members of parliament.

They are nominated and appointed by the president with approval of the national assembly.

The secretary of the cabinet perfoms the following duties.

  • Takes change of the cabinet office.
  • Arranges the business of the cabinet.
  • Keeps the minutes of the cabinet to the appropriate person or authority.


  • Appears before a committee of the national assembly or the senate when required by the committee and answer questions pertaining various miniroties.
  • Provide parliament with full and regular reporters concerning matters under their control.
  • Assists and advices the president on day to day running of the government.
  • Chart out and lay down guidlien on Kenya domestic and foreign policy.
  • Discuss matters of national and international importance.
  • Expand government policy.
  • Ensure governemtn policy is implemented by the civil servants/


Each state department is headed by a principal secretary.

The office of the principal secretary is an office in the public service.

They are nominated by the president from among persons recommends by public service comm. (PSC) their appointement must be approved by the parliament.

Functions of the PS (Principal Secretaries).

  • They administer state departments.
  • They are the accounting officers in the state departments
  • Formulate and implement governemtn policy.
  • Assist in drawing up the budgets and development programmes of their deparments.
  • As a link betweenthe cabinet secretary and staff of the deparmtne.

Functions of the Attorney –General.

He is nominated by the president and appointed, by ehe following approval of the National Assembly.

Functions include:

  • He is the principal legal advisor to the government.
  • Represents the national government incourt or in nany other legal proceeding.
  • Promotes and uphold the rule of law.
  • Defends public interest.
  • Appears as a friend of the court in any civit proceeding to which the government is not a party.
  • Takes part in the drafting of government bills before they are tabled in parliament.


The DPP is nominated and with the approval of the National Assembly, appointed by the president.

The DPP hold office for a term of eight years and is not eligible for re-apointment.


  • To institute andundertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court other than a court martial.
  • Takes over and continue any criminal proceedings commenced in any court other than a court marital.
  • Discountinouse at any stage before judgment is delivered.
  • Superises and co-oridnates the work of state.
  • Directs the inspector – General of the National policy service to investigate allegations of criminal conduct.
  • Safeguards public interest and the interent of administration of justice to prvent abuse of the legal process. Delegates powers to prosecute subordinate officers.


This is the non-plitical section of the executive arm of the government.

It’s headed by the principal secretary in the office of the president.

Members of public servies are appointed by the public service commission.


  • Provides servie to the people especially servie ministeres like health and education.
  • Implements government policies andprgramme.
  • Interpretes government policies to the people so that they can willingly participate in their implementation.
  • Maintains governemtn record.
  • Advises cabinet secretary on matters of policy.
  • Ensurs continuity in governemtn operations since the public service is permanent while poltiszing come and go.
  • Collects government revenue through licenses.


It consist of the chairperson, vice chairperson and seven other member appointed by the president

Functions include

  • Establishining and abolishing offices in the public service.
  • Appointing persons to hold officing in the public services
  • Disciplinary and removing from office public services officers.
  • Promoting and providing renumeration to public service officers.
  • Develops human resources in the public service.
  • Ensuring efficient and effective prosivion of service by public service officers.
  • Hearing and determining appeals in respect of country govenmeent public service.

Composition and functions of National securities organs.

They are government bodies which provide internal security or protect the county from external attack, they help in maintenance of law and order and help to promote the rule of law

They include: a) the defence forces

  1. National intelligence service
  2. National police service

It consists –     The Kenya Army’s

                        The Kenya Air force.

                        The Kenya Navy

Functions of the K.D.F

  • To defend Kenya from external aggression
  • The Kenya Navy has the responsibility of patrolling kenya’s territorial waters and defending Kenya against seaborne invasions.
  • The navy also is responsible for dealing with illegal docking and departures and unautrhorised fishing in Kenyan waters by foreign vessels’. The Kenya Air Force secures Kenya’s airspace against potential forces.
  • They also assist the police in maitaning have and order.
  • Within Kenya, the armed forces are sometimes involved in no-military activities such as road and bridge construction.
  • Kenya’s armed forces have also been involved in several occasions as part of the United Nations sponsor is peace keeping forces in war – torn areas e.g Namibia.
  • National Intelligence services.

This is the body which collects and gathers intelligence reports which are important to the state security. It’s headed by the Director General who is a member of the National security. It’s headed by the Director General who is a member of the National Security Council.

Functions of the National intelligence Service.

  • Collects intelligence information on threats to state security.
  • Keeps the state informed on the feeling of people towards the government and the government policy.
  • Gathers information on external threats to the nation.


It consists of the Kenya police service and the administration police service.

It’s headed by the inspector general of the National Police Service.

The Kenya police service and administration police service are each headed by a Deputy inspector General.

It has several units which include. The criminal investigation Department (CID), Traffic police, police airway, Anti- Narcotics unit, among others.

Functions of the National Police Service.

  • Maintaining law and order by preventing and detecting crime.
  • Arresting suspected criminals and taking them by a court of law.
  • Collecting and evaluating intelligence information and documents for fighting crime.
  • Carries direction and inspection of moto vehicles.
  • Monitoring the in-coming and outgoing traffic at border posts and entry points.
  • Collaborate with Interpol in fighting international crime.
  • Provide security to senior government officers and buildings.
  • Prevent corruption and promote practice of transparency and accountability.
  • Train staff to highest possible standards of competend and integrity.
  • The constitution established a National police service commission which plays the following function.
  • Recruits and appoints person to hold or act in offices in the service.
  • Confirms appointment and determines promotion
  • Determines transfers within the servie.
  • Exercises disciplinary control over officers.
  • Removing persona holding or acting in offices with the service.


  • 1.Porous boundaries especially the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia.
  • Rising crime rates due to swelling population and unemployment has overwhelmed the security organs. Increased cases of sophisticated crimes such as cyber crime, terrosism, money laundering and drug trafficking
  • Poor infrastructure e.g poor and communication network makes it difficulut for security organs to access certain parts of the country.
  • High incidents of corruption and related vices like nepotism and favourism has hampered service delivery to the public.
  • High influx of refugees from war torn countries has led to smuggling of arms in the contry, posing a security risk.
  • The emergences of organized criminal gangs in the name of vigilance groups have caused insecurity in many areas.


  • Employing more police officers toimprove on the overall police to population ratio.
  • Reviewing of the security organs training curriculum to incorporate skills for combating emerging crimes increase the duration of training of security officers to make them more official in fighting crime.
  • Providing modern equipment such as communication gadgets, forensic laboratory and arms.
  • Increasing funding to security organs for purchase of motor vehicles for their daily operations.
  • Improving the conditions and terms of service of police officers.
  • Increase surveillance along international boundaries by opeining patrol bases and deploying more personnel to curb illegal entry into the country.
  • Screamlining the recruitment of personnel into the security organs to reflect the diversity of the Kenyan people.


It falls under National Police Service.

They are measures taken to punish and rehabilitate offenders so as interrogate them into the society. The prisons services have various categories of instituons which help to prevent contamination the minor offenders by worse ones.

These institutions include

Principal institution.

These confine offenders convicted of serious crime e.g those sentenced to life imprisonment.

District I and II prisons

These hold offenders convicted of serious crime but which are not capital offences (medium security prisons)

Youth institutions.

These are used to confine young offender of between ages 15 and 21.

They offer vocational training and give them opportunities to continue education.

Other correctional service include

Extra – mural panel employment scheme. This involves convicts residing in their homes but working on government projects or public works for the entire period of their sentence.

Probation Department

This is where convicts are placed under the observation of a probation officer. The officer provides counseling service and monitors change in behaviour andconduct of the convict.

Functions of correctional services

  • Punishing convicted offenders as directed by a court of law.
  • Rehabilitating convicted offenders.
  • Confining convicted prisoners.
  • Deferring those who might be thinking of committing crimes.
  • Offering welfare services to convicts.
  • Continuing remandees a sthey wait to appear in court.

Challenges facing correctional services

  • There is congestion in prisons which is caused by high incidents of crime. Tis has led to poor living conditions as the prisons facilites are overstretched.
  • High incidents of disease outbreaks such as a cholera and typoing fever. This has led to death of many inmates.
  • Shortage of funds to maintain the prisoners. The correctional services have inadequate part to rehabilitate convicts through counseling.other living conditions of prison warders like low renumeration and poor housing. Rising cases or corruption, leading to smuggling of legal goods into prisons and prison breaks.


  • There has been introduction of community service of petty offenders to deconest prisons.
  • Approving the living conditions for prisoners by medical services, clothing and bedding and also better
  • Realease of petty offenders to ease congestion employing and training more personel.
  • Approving the living conditions for prison warders
  • Contruction of better houses.


This is the branch of government which co-ordinates e. administration of justice through a system courts in accordance with the law.

The independence of the judiciary in Kenya is guaranteed in the following ways:-the office of a judge of a superior court can’t be abolished while the holder is still in office.

The remuneration and benefit of judges is drawn directly from the consolidated fund.

A member of the judiciary cannot be sued in respect of the lawful performance of a judicial function.

The judiciary has a separate system or command, headed by the Christ justice and delinked from other organsof governments.

Judges and magistrate are bound by one Oath of allegiance to perform their duties without fear or favour.

Structure and functions of the court system in Kenya.

The court system in Kenya is heirachical, that’s it is arragned from highest to the lower court system of courts in Kenya is made up of

  1. supreme courts.
  2. subordinate court.

The superior courts are; i) the supreme court

                                                ii) The court of appeal

                                                iii) The high court

The supreme court

Chief justice

Deputy Chief justice

Other judges

Fucntions of the Supreme Court

  • As exclusive original jurisdication to hear and determine disputes relating to the election to the office of the president.
  • And determines appeals from the court of appeal and any other court or tribunal.
  • Advirosry opinion at the request of the National government.
  • Make decisions which are binding to all other courts.
  • Makes rules for the exercise of its jurisdication.

ii) The court of appeal

This is the 2nd highest court in the country.

It has only appellate jurisdication.

It is composed of

The president who is elected from among its judge’s less than twelve judges.


  • Hears appeals from the high court.
  • Hears appeals form other court s or tribunals.
  • May order a retial of a case by a lower court

iii) The High Court

This is the third highest court

It consist of

Principal Judge elected by judges or the high court from among themselves.

A number of judges prescribed by an act of parliamnent


  • Has unlimited original jurisdiction in criminal and civil matters.
  • Protects the rights of fundamental freedoms in the Bill of rights.
  • Hears appeals from tribunals appointed by the court to consider removal of a person from office other than the president.
  • Supervises the subordinate courts.
  • Hears appeals from the subordinate courts.

Subordinate courts

They are lower courts. They have limited jurisdication over criminal and civil cases.

They include the magistrate courts

            The kadhi courts

            The court martial


a)The magistrate courts

These are leaded by a magistrate who is appointed by the judicial service commission

They operate under certain levels. These are:-

            Chief magistrate courts.

            Senior principal magistrates’ court

            Principal magistrates court

            Senior resident magistrates court.

            Resident magistrates court.

The chief magistrate courts have administrative powers over all the lower cours within the region. They hear a case that carries a death penalty.

Their hierarchies determine the nature of case handed and the joint sentence given or fine impose.

b) Kadhi courts

These are Islamic court. They handle disputes where both parties are Muslim. Their jurisdiction to Muslim matters are such as: Divorce, marriage, inheritance and personal status.

They are headed by cliet Kadhi who supervise the other Kadhi courts.

  • Tribunals

It’s a special court established by an Act of parliament to handle matters relating to specific fields. Examples of tribunal in Kenya are

The rent restriction tribunal

The business premises rent tribunal

Commissions of inquirey

The judicial service commission

This is a body established by the constitution promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the judicialry.

It composed of: – The child justice – chairperson

                                    One supreme court judge

                                    One court of appeal judge.

                                    One high court judge

                                    One magistrate

                                  The attorny – general

                                 Two advocates 1 woman and 1 man, each whom have atleast 15 years expericne, eleted by the law society of Kenya.

One person nominated by the public sercice commission.

One woman and 1 man to represent the public appointed by the president with the approval of the National assembly.

The chief registrar of the judiciary – secretary

Functions of the judicial service commission

  • Commands to the president for appointment as judges.
  • Reviews and maeks recommendations on the conditions of service of judges, judicial officers and the staff of the judiciary.
  • Prepares and implements programmes for th continuing education and training of judges and judicial officers
  • Advices the national government on improving the efficiency of the administration of justice.


Is head of the judiciary arm of government

He is appointed by the president.

He holds office for one term of 1 years.

For the appointment to the offie the person must have the following qualificastions.

At least 15 years of experience as a Supreme Court judge.

At least 15 years experience as a distinguished academic judicial officer, or legal practitioner.

Hold a law degree from a recognized university or be an advocate of the High court.

Have a high moral character integrity and impartiality.


  • Head of the judiciary.
  • President of the supreme court
  • Chairperson of the judicial service commission.
  • Swears into office of the president, deputy president and cabinet secretaries.
  • Assigns duties to the judges of the Supreme Court.
  • Ways the rule of law is upheld in Kenya.
  • By ensuring the independence of the judiciary
  • By apprehending and taking suspects to court of law for trial.
  • By guaranteeing legal representative to the accused person.
  • By subjecting all persons to the law

Challenges facing the judiciary.

  • Inadequate personnel, leading to delays in the administration of justice and a backlog of cases.
  • Interference in the judicial process by the executive and other influential personalities.
  • Corruption in the court of law which results intoi unfair rulings.
  • Low level of public awareness on their rights and legal procedures.
  • High court fees which limit public access to the courts.
  • The use of outdate laws.
  • Shortage of equipment and facilitate.
  •  Poor terms of service and working conditions make it different to administer justice.


  • Employment of more personnel
  • Improving on the terms of service and remuneration of judges and magistrates.
  • Increase funding to the judiciary to enable it acquire modern equipment.
  • Providing legal education to the public.
  • Making courts more indepent to free zones by creating awareness on the ills of corruption.
  • Lowering court fees to make them affordable to ordinary citizens.


  • Developing and implementing foreign affairs and foreign policy.
  • Handles matters concernng trade between Kenya and other countries.
  • Controls the use of international waters and resources.
  • Handles matters pertaining to immigration and citizenship attending the country from external aggression by sitting in place and maintaining a national defence force.
  • Providing and maintaining higher education policies.
  • Developing health care through formulation of policy and construction and maitanance of national referral hospitals.
  • Affecting the environment and national resources affecting the rights of workers by maintaining laobur, standard and managing industrial relatives’ admistering justice by establishing and cointaing an idependent judiciary maintaingin internal security through the Kenya servie. This ensures there is no breakdown law and order.
  • Formulates language policy and promotes the use of official and local languages.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
people found this article helpful. What about you?

Leave a Reply 0