Kenya’s National Values and Principle of Governance – Kennedy Kirui

I know of no more encouraging fact than the ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour – Henry David Thorea

Stephen R Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” explains “being proactive” to mean that a person is responsible (response-able). Thus, a proactive person, regardless of the conditioning forces at play all around, chooses his every step. This concept of proactivity forms the background of my discussion on Kenya’s National Values and Principles of Governance.

As a student in primary school I memorised what was then called the loyalty pledge. We would declare it after singing the national anthem. It embodied and promoted the then national philosophy which was referred to as Nyayo Philosophy. Before Nyayo, the country’s philosophy was Harambee (pulling together).

Presently our national values and principles of governance are embodied in Article 10 of the Constitution.  Before the 2010 Constitution, our National Values were not provided for in any legal instrument. Our unique Kenyan experience led us to, through conscious endeavour, enact the National Values and Principles of Governance into the supreme law of the land.

The contents of Article 10 are not entirely new and have been part of the Kenyan social, political and cultural spheres since time immemorial.  For example Mzee Moi while president asserted “patriotism is the spiritual cement of unity”.

These National Values and Principle of Governance should underlie every social, legal, cultural, economic, political, structure and institution in Kenya. How do we get to such a situation; through conscious endeavour!

We must proactively teach them to the younger generations not only in the classrooms halls of the universities and schools but also in the living rooms of our houses, on the floor of Parliament, in the corridors of justice, in the buses, matatus, churches, mosques.

Further the older generation must teach through action, as Emerson once put it: “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears that I cannot hear what you say”.


One comment
  1. Thuku Muthui

    One of our national values that has been emphasized time and again is cohesion and togetherness. I look at Safaricom’s twaweza, at Tujiamini, at almost all our banks’ and saccos’ slogans which scream power in good relations and think if we uphold all the values, we can become the best country in the world. Socializing the youth in the right way, setting pace and striving to leave a legacy can be ways of ensuring continuity of our values.

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