What is citizenship?
This refers to the legal right of a person to belong to a particular country. A Kenyan citizen is a person who has the legal right to belong, live and do freely all that has to do with their life in Kenya.
Becoming a Kenyan Citizen
Ways in which Kenyan citizenship can be acquired.
1. Citizenship by birth
The following are the Ways through which citizenship by birth is acquired in Kenya.
2. Citizenship by registration
Conditions for qualification to apply for Citizenship by registration are as follows:
Revocation of citizenship
The revocation of citizenship by registration may happen under the following circumstances.
Citizenship by birth may be revoked under the following circumstance
The concept of “Dual citizenship”.
A citizen by birth does not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country.
Rights and responsibilities of a Kenyan citizen.
Human rights refers to the accepted principles of fairness and justice- or the universal moral rights that belong equally to all people in their capacity as human beings.
Components of human rights.
Every human right must fulfill these three fundamental conditions;
Human rights and fundamental freedoms are recognized and protected in the constitution because they preserve the dignity of individuals and communities, and promote social justice
The rights and freedoms protected in the Bill of Rights.
1. Right to life.
Limitations of the right to life
2. Equality and freedom from discrimination
Every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. This means that both men and women are equal before the law. Any form of discrimination is illegal and is prohibited in the constitution.
3. Human dignity
Every person’s dignity should be respected and protected. One must not ridicule or embarrass other members of society.
4. Freedom and security of a person.
5. Freedom from slavery, servitude and forced labour.
No one should be held in servitude or slavery or perform forced labour. Every employer should treat his or her employees with dignity and not to force them to work.
6. Right to privacy.
Every person has a right NOT to have him or herself, his or her property searched, or his or her possessions seized. Not revealing a person’s family or private affairs unnecessarily or private communications interfered with.
Exceptions to this right;
The law allows police officers, tax inspectors and other government agents to search private homes or business premises for purpose of health inspection, tax collection or any other officially sanctioned reason.
7. Right to assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition.
Every citizen has a right to assemble and participate in peaceful demonstrations and even present petitions to public authorities
Those demonstrating must not interfere with peace of others for example through harassment of motorists and property destruction.
8. Political rights
It is illegal to prevent other people from participating in elections, buy votes etc.
9. Freedom of movement and residence
Citizens have a right to free movement and ownership of property in any part of the country.
Citizens should not obstruct efforts of any citizen to move freely and reside and own property in any part of the country.
10. Economic and social rights
11. Consumer rights
12. Right to fair labour practices.
Every worker has a right to fair labour practices like fair remuneration, reasonable working conditions, the right to join or practice in trade union activities and the right to go on strike. Every employer has a right to join an employers’ association and participate in its programmes and activities
13. Right to clean and healthy environment.Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment. It is our duty to ensure that the environment is protected for the benefit of present and future generations. The following are the obligations set by the government in order to achieve a clean and healthy environment.
Every person has a responsibility to protect and conserve the environment and ensure ecologically sustainable development, and use of natural resources.
14. Freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion.
Every person, whether individually or as a group, has freedom to manifest any religion or belief through worship, practice, teaching or observance, including observance of day of worship. One cannot be denied employment or educational opportunity because of belonging to a particular religion or because of one’s belief or religion. A person cannot be forced to engage in any act that goes against his or her belief or religion.
Every citizen must be careful not to infringe upon this freedom
15. Freedom of expression.
This guarantees all Kenyans the freedom to seek, receive or impart ideas or information. It also guarantees freedom of artistic creativity, academic freedom, and freedom to conduct scientific research
In the exercise of this freedom, everyone is called upon to respect the rights and reputation of others. He/she should not spread propaganda with the intention t provoke others to war or to violence.
It is unlawful to engage in hate speech.
16. Freedom of media.
23. Access to justice.
Everybody should access justice and a reasonable fee will be charged to enhance this, if required. If this is not free, many people will not access justice which will continue to be a preserve of the rich people.
Everybody has a responsibility to facilitate fair play and access to justice for all. Any action aimed at blocking justice is unlawful and invites punishment. For example, shielding criminals or attempting to bribe law enforcement officers to prevent them from arresting a criminal. Aiding a criminal to evade arrest, concealing criminal acts; and lying to help culprits evade punishment.
24. Right of arrested persons.An arrested person has;
25. Fair hearing.Every person has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved through a court hearing be resolved in such a manner that will accord him or her fair and public hearing. An accused person has the following rights;
26. Rights of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned.
A person, who is detained, held in custody or imprisoned under the law, retains all rights and fundamental freedoms in the bill of rights. Except those that are impractical and inapplicable under the circumstances.
A person who is detained or held in custody is entitled for an order Habeas Corpus- This is a law that states that a person who has been arrested should not be kept in prison longer than a particular period of time unless a judge in a court has decided that it is right. It is the right of the person who is detained, held in custody or imprisoned to be treated in a humane manner.
All citizens have a responsibility to ensure that the rights of those detained, held in custody or imprisoned are respected. For example the judicial staff, prison staff and the police should respect the constitutional rights of all persons without discrimination.
Fundamental rights that might not be limited;
Rights enjoyed by Children in Kenya
Rights enjoyed by Persons with disabilities in Kenya
Rights of the Youth in Kenya
Rights of Minorities and marginalized groups in Kenya
Rights of older members of society in Kenya
Circumstances, which may force the Kenya government to limit the freedoms and rights of an individual
Other responsibilities of a citizen
Values of good citizenship - Values and principles of governance in Kenya.
Values of good citizenship
Importance of being a good citizen