Constitutional LawParticipation, Representation and Delegation in Kenya and Africa – Chapter 4

Participation, representation and delegation are closely linked to the concept of the people and popular sovereignty in Kenya and Africa. They address the substantive, theory, operationalization, procedural or processual rights, liberties and freedoms. Significantly, AfroKenyan constitutional democracy and governance under the 2010 Constitution and relevant constitutions are supposed to be through direct participation, representative and delegation. Elections are direct and indirect form of participation. The various iterations on proposed amendment to the 2010 Constitution including the proposals by Raila Odinga of Azimio and President William S. Ruto of UDA and Kenya Kwanza are primarily about different perspectives of participation, representation, and delegation.

Relatedly, the Constitution of Kenya, 1969 and 1963 were also founded on representative democracy. This was despite the fact that the Kenya African National Union (KANU) administration or Government of the day greatly restricted the liberties of opposition political parties. Multiparty politics was eventually banned, de jure, which stipulated that there would be only one political party in Kenya’s KANU. Multipartyism was restored in 1984, then fully in 1992 after the repeal of section 2A and then through the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

Thus, sovereignty was restricted. Sovereignty is the claim to be the ultimate political authority, subject to no higher power as regards the making and enforcement of political decisions. It has national (or domestic) and transnational components, as well as a combination of both.

Sovereignty is the principle that establishes the nation-state as an independent actor in the international system. A state’s claim to sovereignty is subject to unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral, and a combination of these phenomena. The structure of the international system is also characterized by order, disorder or anarchy and a combination of both….

The culmination of the process of establishing the principle of statehood and hence participation in national and transnational planes can be traced back to the (Peace) Treaty of Westphalia 1648.2 We adopt an Afro-Kenyanist perspective, theory and practice in analyzing participation and representation in Kenya and Africa. We review the experience under successive constitutions and presidential administrations, including the Constitutions of Kenya (2010), South Africa (1993, 1996), Uganda (1995), and Tanzania (1977 and Draft Constitution, 2014). The electoral system if part of the debate of participatory representative and delegated democracy.

To read the full chapter, download the PDF here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prof Ben Sihanya & Co Advocates
Chaka Place, 2nd Floor, Argwings Kodhek Rd, Hurlingham

Follow us:


High quality, creative and customized legal solutions for individuals, businesses and organizations.

Copyright © Prof Ben Sihanya & Co Advocates 2023