Kenya’s New Constitution in Action: In Sport


The New Kenyan constitution (2010) mandates both county and national governments to address sports issues under the Fourth Schedule. This covers devolution and responsibilities of the two levels of government. Kenya is a sports powerhouse with worldwide fame in athletics, rugby, and volleyball. The new constitution is broad enough to ensure that sports are developed in the country – and thus has provisions for broad reform in Kenya’s sporting and recreation.

Some of the ways in which is promoting this growth include the following provisions, which we have outlined for you.

1. The Elimination Of Discrimination In Sport

Article 27 of Part 2 in the bill of rights prohibits discrimination of any person on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth. This means that sports federations are mandated to admit all persons able to participate in that sport.

This has contributed immensely to the development of sports for women and the physically challenged. Article 54 covers the rights of persons with disabilities. The constitution obligates the state to provide facilities for disabled persons such that they are able to participate in activities that are enjoyed by other people. In this regard, the government has invested in training facilities for people with disabilities. The Kenyan Paralympics team performed exemplary in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

2. The Freedom Of Association

Article 36 guarantees freedom of association. This includes the right to form, join and participate in the activities of a legal association. To this extent, the Kenyan sports scene has a wide variety of sports promoted by different sports groups. The constitution allows Kenyans of all walks to come together in different sports clubs and sports’ national teams.

3. The Freedom Of The Media

Article 34 covering the freedom of the media limits the extent to which the state can control the media. As such, there are many media outlets covering different sports in Kenya. International broadcasters have also set up shop to broadcast sports events. This has allowed the sponsorship of different sports by different companies looking to get exposure in the media. The sponsorship of the Kenya Premier League by Supersports is a good example.

4. The Right To A Fair Hearing

Many disputes in Kenyan sports federations and associations are solved amicably through the courts. Article 50 of the Kenyan constitution guarantees a fair hearing to any person or entity accused of wrongdoing.

5. Devolution

Devolution, as guaranteed in the Fourth schedule, has obligated the national government to devolve resources for sports to the counties. This means county governments are able to invest in sports development as is evident in the building of sports stadia in different counties.

The Sports Act (2013) was passed by parliament to cover the issues above and create the necessary conditions for the growth of sports. And based on the newly promulgated constitution that guarantees these particular conditions, the future is looking bright not just for Kenya’s athletes, but for the Kenyan people as a whole – from professional athletes to up and coming youths who want to make their mark on the world of sport….regardless of every sport.

Hopefully, this addresses the glaring need for Kenya’s government to pay more attention and provide the support and funding Kenyan sport needs – for better sporting equipment such as footballs, basketballs, top notch bowling balls, and facilities for athletes who want to bring glory to Kenya’s flag.