Kenya’s first constitution was more a replica of British system of governance and ultimately centralized government power to serve the needs of a small political elite. One of chief aims of the Kenya’s 2010 constitution was to reduce the power of Kenya’s “imperial presidency” through formal constraints on the executive. Including allowing him to be impeached. Past presidents used loopholes in the old constitution as buy-outs. For example, the president had land distribution powers. This, they used to buy supporters and enrich themselves.
One of the reason of reducing the president’s authority was to temper violence surrounding elections, because the power that was involved in the presidency was massive. This was the primary goal of the new constitution among others to drastically reduce the powers of the executive arm of the government.
To do this, the new constitution reduces the power of the president.
After the promulgation, all the major presidential appointments in state offices, must be approved by Parliament.
In addition, the president’s cabinet was reduced from 48 to 24 members. The president can now only appoint non-parliament members to cabinet positions, a move that was meant to curb corrupt political patronage.
The president can no longer suspend or dissolve the National Assembly; its members will be elected to fixed 5-year terms. The president will no longer exercise any control over the Election Commission, which will now be completely independent.
The new constitution goal was to place more power directly into the hands of Kenyan citizens unlike the previous constitution which all powers laid directly with the president and all major state offices were occupied on the mercies of the president.
Bill of rights also gave the Kenyan Citizens more power and protection of their political, economic and social rights, freedom of expression, and protection of property and consumer rights.
Although the bill grants the government limited authority to curb certain rights under special circumstances, it is extremely explicit in outlining the requirements and/or justification for any legislation restricting such rights. The new constitution also prohibits the government from limiting or removing some rights at any time or under any circumstance.