Kenya got Independence on 12th December 1963 and has had 5 presidents under different prevailing Constitutions to date as follows;

1964-1978  Mzee JOMO KENYATTA

The First President of The Republic of Kenya


The Second President Of the Republic of Kenya

2002-2013  MWAI KIBAKI

The Third President Of the Republic of Kenya


The Fourth President of the Republic of Kenya


The Fifth President of the Republic of Kenya

The citizens (registered voters) elect a President during the General Election on the second Tuesday in August in every 5th year. A Presidential candidate is required to be;

  1. A citizen of Kenya by birth.
  2. Qualified to stand as a member of Parliament as set out in Article 99 COK.
  3. Nominated by political party or is an independent.
  4. Nominated by no fewer than two thousand voters from a majority (24) Counties.
  5. Not a public officer (unless the incumbent President, Deputy President or Member of Parliament).
  6. Not to owe allegiance to any other country.


This is set out in Article 131 of the COK 2010. An elected President is

  1. The Head of State and Government
  2. Exercise the executive authority together with the Deputy President and Cabinet Secretaries
  3. Is the Commander In Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces
  4. Chairperson of the National Security Council
  5. Is a symbol of national unity


  1. Respect, uphold and safeguard the Constitution
  2. Safeguard the sovereignty of the Republic
  3. Promote and enhance the unity of the Nation
  4. Promote respect for the diversity of the people and communities of Kenya
  5. Ensure protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the Rule of Law
  6. Not to hold any other State or public office


  1. Address the opening of each newly elected Parliament ( National Assembly and Senate).
  2. Address a special sitting of Parliament once every year and may address Parliament at any other time.
  3. Once every year to
  4. Address the nation on all measures taken and progress achieved in the realization of the national values referred to in Article 10 of COK.
  5. Publish in the Gazette the details of the measures and progress as reported in i) above
  6. Submit a report for debate to the National Assembly on the progress made in fulfilling the international obligations in the Republic.
  7. Nominates and with approval of the National Assembly appoint or dismiss Cabinet Secretaries, Attorney General, Secretary to the Cabinet, Principal Secretaries, High Commissioners, ambassadors and diplomatic and consular representatives and state or public officers.
  8. Chair Cabinet meetings.
  9. Direct and co-ordinate the functions of ministries and government departments
  10. Assign and Gazette responsibility to Cabinet Secretaries (CS) for the implementation and administration of any Act of Parliament.
  11. Establish offices to exercise the Presidential functions as recommended by the Public Service Commission.
  12. Receive foreign diplomatic and consular representatives.
  13. Confer honors in the name of people and the Republic.
  14. Declare a State of emergency subject to Article 58 of COK.
  15. Declare War; with the approval of Parliament
  16. Ensure International obligations of the Republic are fulfilled
  17. Exercise power of mercy as per Article 133 of COK.

In performance of the functions, obligations and powers above, the President is required to put all decisions in writing and under seal. Further to act in accordance with the Constitution, various Acts of Parliament, general rules of International Law and any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya.

The President shall cease to hold office due to,

  1. Death (Article 146(1)a)
  2. Resignation (Article 146(1)b)
  3. Incapacity (Article 144)
  4. Impeachment (Article 145)

How do you gauge the past Presidents and look forward with the current President in terms of their Role, Authority and Obligations?

By Lawquery Team

Source: Constitution of Kenya 2010

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