Cablegate: Constitutional Amendment for Parliamentary Debate
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 000682
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SUBJECT: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FOR PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE
1. On March 6, the Kenya Gazette Supplement published the
Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill of 2008. This
proposed constitutional amendment will be debated by
Parliament at its next session on March 11.
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2008
A Bill for an Act of Parliament to Amend the Constitution
Enacted by the Parliament of Kenya, as follows-
1. This Act may be cited as the Constitution of Kenya
(Amendment) Act, 2008.
2. The Constitution is amended in section 3 by inserting
the following new proviso immediately after the word "void"
"Provided that the provisions of this section as to
.consistency with this Constitution shall not apply in
respect of an Act made pursuant to section 15A (3)."
3. The Constitution is amended by inserting the following
new section immediately before section 16 -
BEGIN INSERTED CLAUSE
"15A. 1. There shall be a Prime Minister of the Government
2. There shall be two Deputy Prime Ministers of the
Government of Kenya.
3. Parliament may, by an Act of Parliament and
notwishstanding any other provision of this Constitution,
provide for -
a. the appointment and termination of office of the Prime
Minister, Deputy Prime Mnisters and Ministers;
b. the functions and powers of the Prime Minister and
Deputy Prime Ministers;
c. the establishment of a coalition Government;
d. any other matter incidental to or connected with the
4. Subject to the provisions of any Act made under
subsection (3), the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime
Ministers shall be Ministers of the Government of Kenya.
5. The Act made pursuant to subsection (3) immediately
following the commencement of this section shall, while in
force, be read as part of this Constitution.
6. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of an
Act of Parliament made pursuant to subsection (3)
immediately following the commencement or this section
shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention
of any provision of this Constitution."
END INSERTED CLAUSE.
4. Section 17 of the Constitution is amended in subsection
(1), by insel1ing the expression "Prime Minister, two
Deputy Prime Ministers" immediately after the expression
END TEXT OF Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, 2008.
2. The Bill also contains a Memorandum of Objects and
This Bill emanates from the agreement reached between His
Excellency President Mwai Kibaki on behalf of the
Government/Party of National Unity and Hon. Raila Odinga on
behalf of the Orange Democratic Movement. The agreement was
witnessed by His Excellency President Jakaya Kikwete,
President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairman
of the African Union, and His Excellency Kofi Annan,
Chairman of the Panel of Eminent Africa Personalities, who
chaired the deliberations of the National Dialogue and
Reconciliation Committee. The Committee was formed after a
political crisis ensued following a dispute on the outcome
of the Presidential elections held on 27th December, 2007.
The political crisis brought to the surface deep-seated and
long-standing divisions within The Kenyan society.
NAIROBI 00000682 002 OF 002
The Committee held its deliberations under the auspices of
the Panel of Eminent African Personalities comprising the
former Secretary-General of the United Nations, His
Excellency Kofi Annan, His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa,
former President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Her
Excellency Madam Graca Machel. The Government/Party of
National Unity team was led by Hon. Martha Karua, Minister
for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, and consisted of
Hon. Prof. Sam Ongeri, Minister for Education, Hon. Moses
Wetangula, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. Gichira
Kibaara, while the Orange Democratic Movement team was led
by Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, and consisted of Hon. William
Ruto, Hon. Sally Kosgei, Hon. James Orengo and Mr. Caroli
Omondi. It proposed and agreed on a raft of constitutional,
legal and political measures to defuse the crisis, which
culminated in the signing of an agreement entitled
"Agreement on the Principles of Partnership of the
Coalition Government" on 28th February, 2008.
The Agreement provided for the establishment of the offices
of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers, and the
formation of a coalition Government. A team chaired by the
Hon. S. Amos Wako, the AttorneyGeneral of the Republic of
Kenya, and comprising the Hon. Mutula Kilonzo, the Hon.
James A. B. Orengo, Mr. Gichira Kibaara and Mr. Caroli
Omondi, was mandated to draft a constitutional amendment
Bill to entrench the Agreement into the Constitution.
This Bill therefore seeks to give effect to this Agreement.
It seeks to amend the Constitution to provide for the
establishment of the offices of a Prime Minister and Deputy
The Bill also seeks to provide for the enactment of an Act
providing for the appointment and termination of offices of
the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and various
Ministers of the Government of Kenya, the functions and
powers of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers,
and the establishment of a coalition Government.
The enactment of this Bill shall occasion additional
expenditure of public funds to be provided for through the
Dated 6th of March, 2008.