Did you know BBI introduces an article on "Responsibilities of a Kenyan Citizen"? [Explainer]

Pulse Live breaks down the BBI Bill

BBI graphic provided by the BBI Secretariat (Twitter)

Pulse Live Kenya

The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Act, 2020, popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill has been the subject of political discussions in the country since 2018.

The document born out of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has undergone various edits and is now at advanced stages toward a referendum.

A recent informal survey conducted by the Pulse Live production team revealed that though temperatures are rising over the document, most Kenyans have not read the document for themselves.

The BBI Secretariat team has been tasked with availing a copy of the Act to Kenyans before they are required to vote on it, however, with some constrained by internet availability it has not been actualized.

Pulse Live will be breaking down the document in a series of articles beginning with the proposed amendment on Article 18 of Chapter Three of the Constitution which deals with Citizenship.

Article 18A: Responsibilities of a Citizen

The BBI Bill has proposed adding a new Article to the Constitution which will outline the Responsibilities of a Kenyan citizen.

Article 18A section (1) reads: "This Constitution recognizes responsibilities of a citizen as key to building a prosperous, fair and secure nation."

Section (2) goes on to outline eight individual responsibilities of a Kenyan citizen as follows:-

  1. Cultivate national unity on the basis of respecting Kenya’s ethnic, intellectual, economic and cultural diversity;
  2. Promote and protect the well-being of the family including respect for their parents and elders;
  3. Practice ethical conduct and combat corruption;
  4. Fulfil parental responsibilities towards their children;
  5. Develop one’s abilities and skills for the advancement of self, the community and the nation;
  6. Honestly declare their incomes to lawful agencies and pay prescribed taxes and duties;
  7. Respect private property and protect public property from waste and misuse; and
  8. Promote the unity and dignity of Africa and her people.

Section (3) states: "The responsibilities set out in clause (2) apply equally, where appropriate, to non-citizens."

The 2010 Constitution under the Citizenship Chapter only tackles entitlements of citizens, retention & acquisition of citizenship, citizenship by birth, citizenship by registration, dual citizenship, revocation of citizenship and legislation on citizenship.

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