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Leadership and Political change

Traditional leaders in Kenya

  • A traditional leader is someone who was chosen by his or her community to lead them.
  • A traditional leader was someone who was famous for one reason or another. Sometimes they were wisemen and women. At other times they were brave warriors, famous medicine people or successful traders.they were obeyed and respected. People would go to them for advice and guidance.

Contribution of Traditional Leaders in Kenya Kivoi wa Mwendwa

  • Kivoi wa Mwendwa was born in 1780 in Kitui.
  • He was a great long distance trader who travelled between Mombasa and Mt. Elgon.
  • He was able to organize hunting and raiding activities to acquire trade goods in the region
  • When he took the goods to the coast, he exchanged them for clothes, cowrie shells, ornaments, knives, daggers, spices and glassware from Arab traders.
  • In 1846, he met Dr. Krapf for the first time at Rabai and they became great friends.
  • In 1849, Dr. Krapf visited Chief Kivoi in his home in Kitui from where he saw a snow-capped mountain. It was amazing to find such information along the equator.
  • When Ludwig Krapf inquired about it, Chief Kivoi informed him that the name of the mountain was “Kinyaa”, which Krapf interpreted as Kenya, the present-day name of our country.
  • His Friendship with Dr. Krapf led to the spread of Christianity among his people.

Mekatilili wa Menza

She was born in 1840


  • She was a prophetess and a political leader of the Agiriama people
  • Mekatilili was opposed to hut tax and forced labour, slavery, the destruction of the Kayas (traditional shrines) and recruitment of Giriama youths who were forced to work on European farms. She led her people to fight against the occupation of Giriama land along River Sabaki.
  • They attacked European settlements and traders passing through their land.
  • During the fight she was arrested and deported to Kisii.
  • After this, the Agiriama lost their political power.
  • She escaped from Kisii prison and trekked back to Kilifi.
  • She was re-arrested and deported to Kismayu in August 1914.
  • She died in 1920.
  • Mekatilili wa Menza was a famous army general and a great pride of the Agiriama community, an inspiration to present-day women due to her toiling spirit.

Differences and similarities between Kivoi wa Mwendwa and Mekatili wa Menza

Both leaders were respected by their communitiesKivoi wa Mwendwa was a long distance trader while Mekatilili wa Menza was a prophetes.
Both leaders were symbols of unity to their communitiesKivoi wa Mwendwa welcomed the European missionaries while Mekatilili wa Menza resisted them
Both leaders interacted with EuropeansMekatilili wa memnza was arrested and deported to Kisii and Kismayu while Kivoi wa Mwendwa was not arrested.
Both leaders defended the welfareKivoi wa Mwendwa was a chief


of their peoplewhile Mekatilili wa Menza was a military leader
 Mekatilili wa Menza united her people against the British through oaths while Kivoi wa Mwendwa did not give any oath.

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Early forms of Government

Early Forms of government among the Maasai.

  • The Maasai belong to the Nilotes.
  • They live in the plains where they can get enough pasture for their animals
  • The Maasai were ruled by a council of elders.
  • The community had age sets and each age set had its time of leadership.
  • Moran was the most active age set.
  • The Olaiguani was the title of the military captain.
  • The spiritual leader of the Maasai was known as Oloibon.
  • Lenana was a famous Oloibon in their social life.
  • The maasai worshipped a supreme being called Enkai. Enkai was the source of life and punished bad people.
  • The Laibon prayed to God on behalf of other people in the community.
  • There was a council of elders that settled disputes amongst the Maasai.
  • The Morans defended the community against external attacks. They also raided other communities to get cattle.

Early Forms of government among the Maasai.

  • The Ameru are Bantu speakers who live around Mt. Kenya.
  • The traditional system of Ameru was based on the age set system.
  • There were to sets of rulers: the Kiruka and the Ntiba.each of these age sets was headed by a council of elders and ruled at a particular time before handing over to the other.


  • The handing over of the ceremony was marked by a ceremony called Ntuiko.
  • The generation in power had a council of elders called the Njuri Ncheke. This council was made up elderly men who were selected because of their ability and wisdom.
  • They dealt with murder, land issues, witchcraft and theft.
  • They also made laws in the community.
  • They settled disputes, maintained law and order, presided over religious matters, protected the environment and advised on the best economic activity for the community.
  • Law breakers were punished by a council of elders called Nkomango.
  • Matters that were difficult to handle were dealt with by selected members of Njuri Ncheke called Njuri Impeere.
  • They had a religious leader called Mugwe. He blessed major events like sacrifices to ancestors, declared curses on matters of public interest, declared things taboo and prohibited, and conducted rites when age sets were being promoted

Differences and similarities between the Maasai and the Ameru.

In both communities there was a council of elders who settled disputesThe Maasai had a prophet and a medicine man while the Ameru did not
In both communities leadership was in form of age setsThe Maasai were led by Oloibon while the Ameru were led by a council of elders
In both communities, Law and order was maintained by the eldersThe Maasai leadership was hereditary while the Ameru was not.



Good citizenship in Kenya

Ways of becoming a Kenyan Citizen

  • A citizen is a person who belongs to a particular country.
  • Citizenship is the state of being a member of a given country.
  • In Kenya, citizens are issued with identity cards to show that they are Kenyans. A person can become a Kenyan citizen in two ways.
  • By Birth
  • A child born of Kenyan parents becomes a Kenyan Citizen. The child is registered and given a birth certificate. At the age of 18 he or she can use the birth certificate to get an identity card.
  • If the child is born in Kenya by parents who are foreigners, the child has the option of becoming a Kenyan citizen or not.
    • By registration
  • A person born outside Kenya who has attained the age of 21 years can apply to be registered as a Kenyan citizen.
  • He or she must fulfil the following conditions.
  • He or she must have been living in Kenya for at least seven years
  • One of his or her parents must be a Kenyan citizen
  • He or she must have knowledge of Kiswahili or English.
  • He or she must be of good character and make a good citizen.

Requirements for Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is the state whereby a person is a citizen of more than one country under the laws of those countries.

A Kenyan citizen by birth does not lose Kenyan citizenship by acquiring citizenship of another country, as long as he or she can


prove that one or both parents were Kenyan citizens at their time of birth.

Someone who qualifies for dual citizenship is required to be of good conduct, law abiding and should show interest in becoming a dual citizen

He or she should also present the following documents:

  • Two passport photographs
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of Kenyan passport
  • Copy of Kenyan identity card
  • Copy of the other country’s passport
  • Copy of the other country’s certificate of citizenship
  • Copy of police clearance certificate.

Ways in which one May lose Kenyan Citizenship

  • Kenyans who obtain citizenship of another country are required to disclose their other citizenship within three months of becoming a dual citizen. Failure to do so is an offence.
  • If a person acquired the citizenship by registration, the citizenship may be lost if one:
  • Is discovered to have used false documents during registration
  • Fails to renew citizenship when it expires
  • Is convicted of an offence which has a penalty of at least seven years imprisonment within five years of registration
  • Is convicted of planning to overthrow the government (treason).
  • Is working with an enemy of Kenya to fight Kenya.
  • Willingly denounces Kenyan citizenship

If a person acquired the citizenship by birth, the citizenship may be lost if:

  1. The age of the person is discovered and reveals that the person was older than eight years when he or she was found on Kenyan soil.


  • The nationality or parentage of the person becomes known and reveals that he or she was a citizen of another country.
  • The person used false documents during registration.

Good citizenship

  • A good citizen does the following:
  • Obeys the laws of the country
  • Is loyal and loves his or her country
  • Defends his or her country
  • Respects the authorities
  • Takes part in community activities
  • Pays tax to the government
  • Takes care of the environment

National Unity In Kenya.

National symbols in Kenya

  • The national symbols in Kenya include:
  • The national anthem
  • Is a national prayer
  • It expresses the hopes and wishes of Kenyans
  • It was first sang at independence
  • It is written in Kiswahili and English
  • It is sang when raising the flag and when opening and closing national days celebrations
  • The National flag

 It is flown in all official functions, government offices and at schools. Senior government officials fly the national flag on their cars. It is also raised when our sportsmen and women win medals in international games. It is the most popular

National symbol.

  • It has four colours: black, white,red and green.
  • The red colour is a reminder of the blood shed and lives lost during the fight for independence.
  • The black colour is our skin and we are proud of it.

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  • The green colour is the beautiful environment that supports the growing of crops
    • The white colour shows peace in our country and the unity of Kenyans.
  • The coat of arms
    • It is the logo of our country
    • It has two lions holding spears as a sign of strength and readiness to defend our country from external forces
    • The cock with an axe shows that we can fight anybody as we defend our country.
    • Crops represent the agricultural products of our fertile soil and the ability of Kenyans to feed themselves.
    • Harambee – this is our national motto. Kenyans work together to build our country.
  • The Public seal
  • It is circular in shape
  • It has a coat of arms at the centre
  • It is the government signature on its official documents
  • The crops represent our main agricultural products.

Factors that promote National Unity

  • Some of the factors that promote national unity are:
  • National holidays – these are days when great events are celebrated. They include, Madaraka Day celebrated on 1st June, Mashujaa Day celebrated on 21st October, Jamhuri 12th December .
  • National symbols – these include the coat of arms, the national flag,the national anthem and public seal.
  • National languages -the use of Kiswahili and English brings people of different communities together.
    • The president
    • Sports and games
    • The Kenyan constitution
    • The National Assembly


Human Rights

  • A right is what is legally yours. Our rights are written in a document that contains all the laws of Kenya. The document is called the constitution of Kenya.
  • We all have rights and our rights should be respected.
  • Some basic rights are:
  • Right to life – life is important to all human beings. No one has the right to take another person’s life.
  • Right to basic needs (food, shelter, clothing and education) – every child should have adequate food, clothing, good medicinal care, education and shelter.
  • Right to shelter – place to protect from danger, rain.
  • Right to protection
  • Freedom of worship – Every Kenyan citizen is free to hold his or her own beliefs and belong to a religious group of his or her choice
  • Right to vote – every Kenyan citizen above 18 years of age has a right to vote.
  • Right to fair trial – A person who has been arrested should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  • Right to own property – we are allowed to own property anywhere in Kenya. We can buy land or do business in any part of Kenya.
  • Freedom from discrimination -all people are equal before the law and should be protected from any discrimination regardless of age, sex, race, colour or tribe.

Importance of Human rights

  • When human rights are respected citizens live in peace and harmony.
  • Respect for human rights will help us feel secure and safe.
  • Promotes democracy in the society
  • They are a guarantee for equal and fair treatment


  • Children’s rights helps them to grow up well and become good citizens



Democracy in society

Types of democracy in Kenya

  • Democracy refers to a form of governance where the government rules according to the wishes of the people and for the benefit of the people.
  • The leaders are elected by the people through elections.
  • There are two types of democracy:
  • Direct democracy – this is also called participatory democracy or pure democracy. . in this type of democracy, all citizens are involved in making decisions on various issues that concern them. This is the best form of democracy.
  • Indirect democracy – this is also called representative democracy. In this type of democracy, citizens elect representatives who make decisions on their behalf. The elected representatives are supposed to make decisions the way people who elected them would like them to.


Benefits of democracy in society.

  • Democracy enables people to elect leaders of their choice.
  • Democracy promotes good governance in the society
  • Democracy promotes development and stability in the society
  • Democracy enables citizens to express themselves freely
  • Democracy promotes justice in society because all people are ruled by the law.
  • Democracy helps to protect the basic rights of all citizens
  • Democracy promotes peace, love and unity in society. This helps reduce conflicts.

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Electoral process in Kenya Importance of voting in Kenya

  • Voting is the action of electing someone in an election.


  • People vote to choose leaders who will represent them in the government, to exercise their democratic right and to replace bad leaders with good leaders.

Elective Political positions in Kenya

  • In Kenya we have six elective political positions.. They are: President – who leads the national government. Governor – who is the head of the county government. Senator – who represents the county in the senate

Member of parliament – who represents the constituency in the parliament.

Woman representative – represents women who are considered as marginalised group by the constitution. Member of county assembly – who represents the ward in the county assembly.

Voting steps in Kenya

  • The following are the steps of voting in Kenya.

Registration of voters on the voter’s register by the independent Electoral and boundaries Commission (IEBC) Giving civic education to the voters to help them understand the proceedings of voting.

On the day of voting, voters go to the polling station to elect their leaders. For a voter to be allowed to vote:

  1. He or she must have a national identity card or valid passport
    1. He or she must appear on the voters register. Verifying of the names from the voter’s register using voters identification card

When cleared, the voter is given a ballot paper to fill. This is done in a booth or private room. He or she puts a mark next to the name of the candidate of his or her choice.

The voter casts his or her ballot in a ballot box.

Once the voter casts his or her vote, a non-washable ink is used to make a mark on his or her small finger.

The National Government in Kenya

Arms of the National Government and their Functions

  • The three arms of National Government in Kenya include:
    • The legislature – is the arm of the National Government that makes the laws that govern the country. These laws are contained in the constitution of Kenya.
    • The Executive – is the arm of the National Government that runs the government. The president ensures that there is law and order in the country. This arm of the National Government comes up with policies of the government.
    • The Judiciary Is the arm of the National Government that listens to cases brought to the courts and administers justice

The Composition of the three arms of the National Government in Kenya

The Legislature

  1. National Assembly
    1. The speaker
    1. 290 elected members of parliament
    1. 47 elected women representatives
    1. 12 members nominated by political parties
  2. The senate
    1. The speaker
    1. 47 senators
    1. 16 women nominated by political parties
    1. 2 youth representatives (male and female)
    1. 2 members representing people with disabilities (male and female)

Composition of the Executive

  • The president
  • The deputy president
  • Cabinet secretaries
  • Attorney General
  • Public servants

Composition of the Judiciary

  • The Chief Justice
  • The Deputy Chief Justice
  • The Chief Registrar
  • Judges of the Supreme Court
  • The Judicial Service Commission
  • Other Judicial officers and staff

Participating in national governance

We take part in national governance by doing the following:

  1. Obeying the rules and laws of our country
  2. Encouraging people in the society to participate in democratic activities such as voting.
  3. Creating awareness on the importance of respecting human rights.
  4. Being good citizens and educating other people in the society on good citizenship.
  5. Supporting the elected leaders in the society.
  6. Encouraging our leaders to be fair and transparent in their leadership

This is paragraph 2 for posts without the target word.

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