Volume: Volume 20 - 2016
Article type: Refereed article
Author/s: Nyabira, Ben Christopher; Ayele, Zemelak
Inter-ethnic relations in Kenya have been characterised by deep animosity and suspicion. This is mainly due to the political and economic exclusion of various ethnic communities of the country both before and after Kenya became an independent country. The political exclusion was exacerbated as the country increasingly became centralised, leading to periodic violent ethnic conflict. The 2010 Constitution of Kenya seeks to end this political system and practice and ensure the political inclusion of previously excluded communities through various institutional mechanisms, including a system of devolution. The Constitution provides for the creation of 47 counties on a wall-to-wall basis and the devolution of political and financial power to these sub-national political units. Moreover, as per the Constitution, general elections were held in 2013 through which those running the political organs of the counties were elected. This article seeks to examine the potential of the newly introduced devolved system to ensure the political inclusion of previously excluded communities. Based on the 2013 elections, the article also investigates the trend in this respect.