Towards decentralisation : a critical analysis of decentralising governance in Kenya.
This study analyses democratic governance, focusing on the processes leading to decentralising governance in Kenya. It examines issues of decentralisation as applied to the recent decentralisation of governance in Kenya. In Kenya, centralisation has been associated with the monopolisation and abuse of power, political patronage, and the marginalisation of certain groups and communities. There is a belief among the majority of Kenyans therefore, that dispersing political, administrative, and fiscal powers and responsibilities to regional governments, will deepen democracy, maximise opportunities for all Kenyans to participate in the process of decision-making, and consequently improve regional social and economic development. The new Kenyan Constitution 2010 is the result of many years of deliberation among Kenyans who, together with the international community, called the government to open up to more participation and shared power across the country. This pressure heightened with the re-introduction of multiparty politics in Kenya since 1992. The study has taken the form of a selective and critical literature analysis of decentralisation, and particularly the rationale and process of decentralisation in Kenya. It has introduced decentralisation in Kenya from a historical and political perspective. It also analyses the process of constitutional reform, from Moi’s regime to the inauguration of the new constitution in 2010. The Constitution has significantly restructured the governing system in Kenya, as well as defined new power relationships for the benefits of many Kenyans. This has been determined in the study by assessing the extent to which previous powers that were exercised by the executive, particularly the presidency, have been restructured and redesigned, curtailing its powers. This study argues that the reforms introduced and formalised by the 2010 Constitution have introduced decentralisation as the official form of governance in Kenya.