The paradox of Kenya's constitutional reform process: What future for constitutionalism?


  • Westen K. Shilaho University of Johannesburg



Kenya, State, Tribalism, Impunity, Constitution, Violence, Justice, Kenia, Staat, Stemstelsel, Straffeloosheid, Konstitusie, Geweld, Geregtigheid


Kenya’s protracted reform process and periodic electoral related violence is linked to predatory politics nestled in tribalism. Kenya’s politicians’ quest to capture the state for extractive purposes has rendered the reform process ethnically polarising and, since dialogue cannot prevail among Kenya’s fragmented political class, the resort to violence becomes a means of making claims to the control of the state. This article argues that, although the promulgation of a Constitution in 2010 has the potential to address issues at the core of Kenya’s post-colonial crisis, aspects such as inequitable resource distribution, ethnic and regional inequalities, disregard for the rule of law, impunity, a political elite characterised by tribalism and kleptocracy are posing a challenge to the implementation of the Constitution; thus placing the country’s long term political stability in jeopardy.


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How to Cite

Shilaho, W. K. (2016). The paradox of Kenya’s constitutional reform process: What future for constitutionalism?. Southern Journal for Contemporary History, 41(2), 184-207.