The Constitution promulgated in 2010 provides for two levels of government in Kenya. The Constitution also provides distinct functions for the levels of government to implement.
The two levels of government in Kenya are the national level and the county level, or the national government and the county government.
The county governments are semi-autonomous meaning they have a degree of, but not complete, self-government. They can act independently from the national government to some degree.
Levels of government in Kenya
Article 1(4) of the Kenyan Constitution says that the sovereign power of the people is exercised at-
- the national level; and
- the county level.
Article 1(3) of the Constitution delegates the sovereign power under the Constitution to the following State organs, which should perform their functions in accordance with the Constitution-
- Parliament and the legislative assemblies in the county governments;
- the national executive and the executive structures in the county governments; and
- the Judiciary and independent tribunals.
The National Level of government
The national level of government in Kenya consists of the National Executive, Parliament (Legislature) and the Judiciary.
Each of these arms of government is independent of each other in respect to the principle of separation of powers. In addition, the Constitution of Kenya sets out their different roles, responsibilities and functions.
The national executive comprises the President, the Deputy President and the rest of the Cabinet.
The legislature (or parliament) in Kenya consists of the National Assembly and the Senate.
The Judiciary consists of the judges of the superior courts, magistrates, other judicial officers and staff.
Here is more information about the national level of government in Kenya.
The County Level of government
The county level (of government) in Kenya comprises three arms. They are the County Executive (Committee), the Legislature (County Assembly), and the Public Service (County Public Service Board).
Each of these arms of government is independent of each other in respect to the principle of separation of powers. In addition, the Constitution of Kenya and Acts of Parliament sets out their different roles, responsibilities and functions.
The county executive is known as the county executive committee. It comprises of the county governor, the deputy county governor and the members of the county executive committee. Other members are the county chief officers and the county secretary.
The county assembly comprises of the county assembly members elected at the ward level or those nominated by political parties and the county speaker. Other members are the deputy county speaker and the county assembly clerk.
The “county public service” means the collectivity of all individuals performing functions within any department of the county government or its agency. However, it does not include the governor, deputy governor, members of the county executive committee and the members of the county assembly.
The County Public Service Board is in charge of county public service and staffing matters. The County Secretary is the head of the County Public Service.
Here is more information about the county level of government in kenya.
The levels of government in Kenya exist as one national government and 47 county governments.