the constitutional rights of a Kenyan citizen

The constitutional rights of a Kenyan citizen

The Bill of Rights (chapter 5 of the Kenya Constitution) spells out rights and freedoms to which a Kenyan citizen is entitled. These are:

  • the right to life. Life should not be intentionally ended.
  • Personal freedom (the right to liberty). One should not be unjustly confined or arrested.
  • Freedom of conscience. One is free to think or believe as they desire and is free to belong to a faith, religion or denomination of their choice. One is also free to construct and maintain places of religious instruction at their own cost.
  • Freedom of expression (Freedom of speech). However, one is not allowed to defame others, disclose state secrets or incite others to unlawful acts.

  • Freedom of association and assembly. One is free to form or join groups or associations of one‟s choice as long as they are not involved in criminal activities.
  • Freedom of movement. Every Kenyan has the right to travel and move freely within the country as long as they do not trespass onto private property and gazetted areas such as Statehouse, military installations, national parks and government buildings. This freedom may be limited when curfews are imposed or when and where security zones are created.
  • The right to equal treatment (freedom from discrimination), especially at public institutions such as schools and hospitals.

  • The right to acquire and own property, except when the state requires the property for public use or in case of a court order for settlement of a debt. when property is taken by the state for public use, the owner must be compensated.
  • Freedom from arbitrary search and entry. Law enforcement officials must produce a valid search warrant before searching or entering an individual‟s premises in the course of an investigation.
  • Freedom from torture (protection from all forms of inhuman treatment), especially during an investigation at home or in public.

  • Freedom from slavery and forced labour. This is to the exclusion of labour as a result of a prison sentence or that rendered as duty by members of the armed forces e.g. road maintenance.


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