Rules Kenyan Presidents Must Follow After Retirement

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    President Uhuru's motorcade heading to the Tanzanian High Commission in Muthaiga, Nairobi on Saturday, March 20, 2021
  • Kenyan Presidents enjoy privileges, rights and power, which are stripped away once elections are held and a new Commander in Chief is sworn in.

    The former President also hands over the instruments of power marking a new transition in the country's leadership.

    All the rules and restrictions are enshrined in the constitution under Article 141(2). An instant power shift occurs when the president's aide de camp switches to guard the new head of state, after the swearing-in ceremony. 

    The aide holds that position until the newly elected president appoints his own.  

    President Uhuru Kenyatta signs deals at State House
    President Uhuru Kenyatta signs deals at State House.

    "The president-elect shall be sworn in on the first Tuesday following the fourteenth date of the declaration of the result of the presidential election," 2010 Promulgated Constitution stipulates.

    Power transition continues as the President is further expected to vacate the State House immediately. They are accorded government support to gather their paraphernalia before leaving, to allow the newly elected president to move in.

    The retiring president also instantly loses a convoy that escorts him to all events and functions but is accorded a number of high-end cars. 

    They thus retire to live as private citizens enjoying retirement packages offered by the government. Other perks include being assigned a number of law enforcement officers and fully furnished offices which are equipped and staffed by the government. 

    Rules and Restrictions

    Once declared a private citizen, a former president who has served for more than two terms cannot vie for another term.

    "A person shall not hold office as President for more than two terms," the Constitution states.

    Speaking to, Security Expert George Msamali, explained that once a president exists power, they are not allowed to access the State House. 

    "However, they are only allowed to visit upon receiving an invitation from the sitting head of state.

    They also swear a Secrecy Act restricted them from revealing any confidential information, as they are always privy to state secrets which can harm the nation if leaked. 

    "There is that Secrecy Act they swear while in office. That Act remains in force as they are not allowed just to roam around revealing most guarded government secrets," Msamali explained. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Kenya Military Academy in Lanet, Nakuru County on Friday, November 26, 2021.

    The ex-presidents are also barred from receiving intelligence briefs fed to the president by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS).

    "Once a new Commander-in-Chief takes over the instruments of power, a former president cannot receive the briefs."

    However, that protocol is only breached when a sitting president reaches out to a retired president for advice. 

    They are also allowed to voice their personal opinions on various national issues but cannot issue directives to the arm of government.

    Once they leave office, a former president is not allowed to negotiate or even strike deals on behalf of the government. They, nonetheless, hold private meetings with any leader of their choice but in a manner not perceived to threaten national security.

    A retired president cannot even preside over the pass out parade either of the police or even the military. He can only attend as a guest.

    Nonetheless, retired Kenyan presidents can drive themselves as they are private citizens, but can only do so in the company of their aides. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to follow all the guidelines after the August 9 General Election. However, he affirmed that will not take a back step in national politics in the event of Azimio la Umoja's Presidential candidate winning the polls.

    Uhuru was named as the chairperson of the Azimio National Council, the governing body of Azimio la Umoja coalition. 

    President Uhuru's motorcade heading to the Tanzanian High Commission in Muthaiga, Nairobi on Saturday, March 20, 2021