THE PUBLIC EDUCATION & LEGAL AWARENESS PROGRAMME
AT RIARA LAW SCHOOL
FOCUS: THE COMMISSION FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONSTITUTION (CIC)
On 4th of August 2010, Kenyans voted in a new Constitution, which was promulgated three weeks later. This new Constitution is not self-implementing. One of the institutions established to implement it is the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC). The CIC is established under section 5 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution Act, a law passed by Parliament in 2010. The mandate of the Commission is stated in section 5 (6) and 15 (2) (d) of the Sixth Schedule, and in Article 249 (1) of the Constitution
2. Membership of CIC
The law provides that the Commission should have 9 members. The members of the Commission are:
- Mr. Charles Nyachae (Chairperson)
- Dr. Elizabeth Muli (Vice-Chairperson)
- Dr. Florence Omosa
- Dr. Ibrahim Ali
- Mr. Philemon Mwaisaka
- Mr. Kamotho Waiganjo
- Ms. Catherine Mumma
- Prof Peter Wanyande
- Mr. Kibaya Imaana Laibuta
3. Functions of the CIC
The law states that the functions of the Commission are as follows:
- To monitor, facilitate and oversee the development of legislation and administrative procedures that are required for the smooth implementation of the Constitution.
- To work with the AG and the Kenya Law Reform Commission to prepare bills for presentation to Parliament.
- To work closely with other constitutional commissions such as the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality (KNHREC) and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), to ensure that the Constitution is respected.
- To report to the Government the progress made and challenges faces in implementing the new Constitution.
4. Milestones of CIC
On 27th August 2012, Kenyans celebrated the second anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution. Despite on-going challenges, Kenyans can look back with pride at the ground they have covered towards the satisfaction of their long held aspirations of good governance as enshrined in the Constitution.
Among the demonstrable gains so far include more openness and transparency in governance, increased accountability of public officers, the restructuring and reform of public institutions and the creation of new ones, expanded democratic space, and greater Government responsiveness to public demands.
The CIC has worked on a number of Bills that have been enacted into law. Of significance are Bills that touch on devolution and the land question. On land, the CIC developed and forwarded three Bills to Parliament, which were later signed into law by the President. These are: the Land Act, the Land Registration Act and the National Land Commission Act.
A number of legislation have been enacted to ensure effective implementation of devolved government: the County Government Act, the Transition to Devolved Government Act, the Inter-governmental Relations Act, the Public Finance Management Act and Urban Areas and Cities Act.
5. Challenges facing the CIC
The implementation of the Constitution continues to be hampered by some challenges, including:
- Delay in making other independent commissions that are key to the implementation of the Constitution operational. A good example is the National Land Commission.
- Failure to comply with constitutional timelines for forwarding key Bills to Parliament for enactment.
- Failure by key government officials to address implementation challenges that fall under their docket.
- Important Bills are forwarded to the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) too late hence CIC cannot work on them effectively.
- Some Bills are not founded on policies because there is no policy framework to guide the development of Bills. This leads to law being amended soon after they are enacted.
- Some Bills being held back or recalled from publication even after being agreed upon at meeting with CIC and other stalk holders
- Lack of national government framework to guide the operations of national government and transition activities to devolved government
In view of the experiences of implementing the Constitution and the lessons learnt, CIC has made a number of recommendations that would help drive the process of implementation. These include:
- Streamlining of the legislative process
- Civic education
- Responsible political leadership
- Respect for the imperative of public participation
- Fast-tracking the operationalization of Constitutional offices
- Development of a national government framework
- Increased co-ordination in the Executive
- Fostering changes in attitudes and mind-sets
- Development of policies prior to preparation of Bills, regulations and administrative procedures
7. Lifetime of CIC
The Constitution provides for the lifetime of the Commission. CIC will be dissolved five years after being established or when the Constitution is fully implemented. Full implementation will be determined by Parliament. Parliament also has powers to extend the Commission’s life.