Everyone Should Be Aware of these 12 Values in the Constitution
Values can be defined as important beliefs or ideals shared by a community. They are a reflection of what a society stands for. In Kenya, our shared ideals or beliefs and an embodiment of what we stand for are contained in Article 10 of our constitution.
The values contained in this article give us a collective identity and are key in our pursuit of economic, social and political dreams. Here are the top 10 values and principles that bind all state organs, state officers, public officers and Kenya citizens at large:
Being patriotic is about loving our country and to remaining loyal and dedicated to it. This value calls upon all Kenyans to love the country and demonstrate this love on a day to day basis.
2. National unity
This value has to do with citizens working together in pursuit of common goals. It involves promoting unity, cohesion, togetherness, brotherhood, success, and growth of the country.
3. Social Justice
As a value, this has to do with fairness in distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. Social justice is about ensuring equal access to freedoms, rights, and opportunities, as well as taking care of the least advantaged members of society including the elderly, women, People Living with Disability, the youth and the marginalized and minority communities.
4. Public Participation
This value involves ensuring that the voice of citizens is heard during decision making. It is a value that breathes life the sovereign power given to the people in Article 1 of the constitution. As such, citizens should have a say in public budgeting, law making, planning among others.
This is the quality of being neutral, unbiased, reasonable and fair in all decisions and actions. It means that when dealing with citizens in various situations, whether on employment matters, education, or provision government services, there is effort to ensure that we do not only deal with each individual fairly, but that we also do not give undue advantage to other people because of favouritism, we know them or because they come from our ethnic community or village/town among other similar considerations.
This is an important value that has to do with being honest and truthful in our actions, activities, dealings, and relationships. It underpins chapter six of the constitution where public leaders are expected to conduct themselves and undertake public service with honour and honesty.
7. Good governance
As a value, good governance has everything to do with managing public resources efficiently and effectively in order to guarantee the realisation of human rights and social welfare for all citizens.
Transparency has everything to do with being open in the management of public affairs for purposes of building public trust and confidence. It also involves being ready and willing to allow scrutiny of public activities either by citizens or other independent institutions.
This is a critical value in any democracy because it places an obligation on persons or authorities tasked with management of public affairs to be answerable to citizens for the decisions they make and the actions they take. Persons who are entrusted with public resources are to report on
the management of such resources and be answerable to the public.
This has to do with involving and engaging every individual in deciding about developmental and governance matters that affect them. Inclusiveness also entails ensuring that citizen involvement happens in a manner that makes people feel valued, appreciated, and essential to the success of a group, organization or society.
11. Respect for Human Rights
This involves recognizing and respecting basic rights and privileges that all human beings are inherently born with. They are not given by anyone, and must be respected by both government as well as citizens. These rights apply to all human beings irrespective of their nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. Examples of universally acceptable human rights include right to life, equality, and freedom from discrimination, human dignity, right to fair trial, right to freedom and security, prohibition to torture among others.
12. Sustainable Development
This value behooves us to be mindful of future generations in our actions and decisions. It requires that as citizens pursue their day to day needs, their decisions and actions should not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.