About the CKRC Process

About the CKRC Process

The CKRC (Constitution of Kenya Review Commission) process was set out in the Constitution of Kenyan Review Act 1998 (the Act), as amended. The CKRC was sworn in in December 2000 – except for the Chair, Yash Pal Ghai, who said he could not be sworn in then because he was trying to get agreement to merge the civil society body – the People’s Commission (under the auspices of the Ufungamano Initiative, bringing together religious groups with other sectors of civil society) into the CKRC. Agreement to the merger of the People’s Commission with the official body was achieved in May 2001.
The enlarged CKRC (29 members in total including the Secretary and the Attorney General) embarked on civic education, especially by supporting some of the many existing, non-governmental education programmes. Then it travelled around the country, held hearings in Nairobi, and received written submissions, to collect the views of Kenyans on the new Constitution.
In September 2002 it produced a draft Constitution and a short report explaining the draft (called The People’s Choice). Later it produced a longer Report, which was revised and became the final Report of the Commission.
The Act provided for a National Constitutional Conference (NCC) to be convened to discuss, and adopt the new Constitution. It was scheduled for October 28 2002; during the previous week delegates met and heard comments from experts on the draft. On the afternoon of Friday October 25 President Moi dissolved Parliament. Since all MPs were members of the NCC, things could not proceed. After the December election, the NCC eventually assembled in April 2003, at the Bomas of Kenya (hence its name of “Bomas”).
There were 629 members of Bomas, though at any one time there would be fewer in the hall. It operated under Rules of Procedure drawn up by the CKRC. After some weeks of general debate it divided into thematic committees.
When Parliament was sitting it had to adjourn, which delayed matters. It concluded its work in March 2004, having adopted a draft constitution.

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