In August 2010, the Constitution of Kenya was promulgated and received domestic and international jubilation and acclaim. This Constitution has been described as the ‘Wanjiku constitution’ – that is, one that captures the aspirations of the ordinary Kenyan citizen; it contains one of the most progressive Bills of Rights in the world. However, eight years on, it is evident that neither Kenyan citizens nor their elected and appointed leaders have a solid grasp on the laws, rights and obligations accorded to them. The speedy progress and reforms anticipated at the launch of the Constitution remain largely unrealized; instead, there has been widespread impunity, lack of accountability by government, documented abuse of Human Rights, and notable reluctance in the implementation of several aspects of the Constitution, especially among the political class. For example, the two thirds gender rule as prescribed in Article 81 (b) and Article 27 (8) of the Constitution, requiring that not more than two-thirds of the members in any elective or appointive positions such shall be of the same gender, is yet to be realized.
Since its promulgation, very little effort has been made to present the Constitution in a format that is accessible to majority of the people and to offer civic education to the general public on and its foundational values and provisions of the Law. From the foregoing, Kenyans are likely to be misled about the contents of the document. For instance, President Kenyatta is on record as stating that his ‘hands are tied’ in the fight against corruption, implying that the Constitution does not allow him to do anything about the rampant graft in his government. This statement created the impression that the Constitution does not respond to Kenya’s situation – a sentiment which persists despite the fact that two years after this pronouncement, the President is spearheading a sensational war on corruption under the same constitution.
This ignorance of the Constitution provides an avenue for the rights of Kenyans to be ignored and abused, leaving many citizens disillusioned and marginalized, with no information on how they can seek legal vindication. The Constitution of Kenya in Graphic form is designed to revolutionize civic education in Kenya, engaging citizens in a way that they have never been engaged before, and contributing in a major way to the efforts to establish an informed and participatory society. The adage ‘information is power’ comes to mind: Buni Media is excited by this opportunity to empower Kenyan citizens in a way that has never been done before, with the belief that this will result in mentality shifts and socio-political development that has not been experienced in the country before (challenging the status quo).
The ultimate purpose of this enterprise is to produce the Constitution of Kenya in graphic form in order to:
a) Enable readers to easily digest and understand better the content of the Constitution of Kenya 2010;
b) Explain and demystify the legal jargons and complexities always accompanying constitutional documents such as the Constitution of Kenya 2010 through graphic and comic illustration.
c) Enable every Kenyan, young and old to appreciate the value of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the citizens' responsibility to know, respect and protect the Constitution.
d) Ensure the public is well informed and educated on the Constitution of Kenya in the most entertaining, creative and engaging way.
e) Contribute to building of a culture of constitutionalism and improve citizens’ participation in governance and management of public affairs in Kenya