After the Supreme Court of Kenya annulled the 8th August 2017 Presidential election, everyone seemed to be familiar with the Constitution of Kenya. In fact, the most quoted part of the Constitution was Article 140 of the Constitution of Kenya.
After the repeat Presidential polls that were held on 26th of October 2017 and boycotted by the main opposition, National Super Alliance (NASA), another article of the Constitution has found the way in the mouths of Kenyans. Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya.
What does the Supreme Law in the land talk about the sovereignty of the people?
Article 1 (1) of the Constitution states that “all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised only in accordance with this constitution. (2) The people may exercise their sovereign power either directly or indirectly through their democratically elected leaders.”
According to the Constitution, people can either directly or indirectly exercise their sovereignty. Although it gives ways in which the people of Kenya can exercise their sovereignty indirectly through their democratically elected leaders, this article is mute on how people can directly exercise their power.
Article 1 (3) states that “sovereign power under this Constitution is delegated to the following State organs, which shall perform their functions in accordance with this Constitution- (a) parliament and the legislative assemblies in the county assemblies, (b) the national executive and executive structures in the county governments, and (c) the judiciary and the independent tribunals. The same article in (4) says that the sovereign power of the people is exercised at (a) the national level; and, (b) the county level.
On 31st of October 2017, the National Super Alliance (NASA) announced plans to establish what they called the People’s Assembly pegging their argument in Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya. Do Kenyans know their sovereignty and how it should be exercised?