Representation at the Senate JH..

 

The other House of Parliament was the Senate with 41 directly elected Senators, each representing one of the 40 Districts and Nairobi. Excerpts from the 1963 Constitution: 

35. The Senate shall consist of 41 Senators, elected in accordance with the provisions of section 36 of this Constitution.

36. (1) Kenya shall be divided into 40 Districts and the Nairobi Area; and each District and the Nairobi Area shall elect one Senator ........ 

These 40 Districts and Nairobi are today, what are known as Counties plus the following six Districts which were hived off the 40 at various times as shown on the table below:

 

Table 1.9 The 6 Districts Later Hived-off from the 40 Districts of Independence

 

District
Parent District
Year
Bomet Kericho  
Makueni Machakos  
Migori Homa Bay  
Nyamira Kisii  
Tharaka-Nithi Meru  
Vihiga Kakamega  

 

The Senate's 41 members, were expected to represent the interests of smaller groups and minorities who felt excluded in the then Kikuyu and Luo dominated political party KANU. These smaller groupings were behind the semi-autonomous status anchored in the constitution and enjoyed by Regions and the Regional Assemblies - an arrangement that was strongly fronted by KADU and which formed an important part of the political negotiations at the Lancaster House Conferences. 

"The idea of a second chamber for Kenya was originally proposed by the Kenya African Democratic Union (hereafter called KADU) as part of its plan to provide protection for the smaller tribes, which that party represented, against the danger of domination by the larger and more advanced Kikuyu and Luo groups, which supported the Kenya African National Union (hereafter called KANU). KADU desired a federal system in which considerable power would be allocated to regional governments. An upper house was considered necessary to safeguard the autonomy of the regions and to assure sufficient representation of minority interests at the center, for it was recognized that a unicameral legislature elected on the basis of "oneman, one-vote" might very well be completely controlled by KANU which favored a greater centralization of power. Mr. Ronald Ngala, leader of KADU, said upon his arrival in London for the 1962 constitutional conference, "We believe that a two-Chamber Parliament with a Senate especially charged with preserving the rights of the regions is the only way to ensure the continuing liberty of the individual." (Proctor, 1965).

These Senators thus, in one sense represented geographical interests while in another sense represented group interests. They did not have among them any specially nominated members to represent any other special groupings (or "virtual" constituencies) such as women, etc.

 

 

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