mwai_kibaki_and_c7c1.jpgKenya is set to adopt a new constitution, more than three weeks after it was overwhelmingly approved in a national referendum.

 

President Mwai Kibaki is expected to sign the document into law at a large ceremony in the capital, Nairobi.

The constitution is expected to bring significant changes, with political supporters hailing it as the birth of the second republic.

 

The debate over a new constitution has lasted 20 years.

 

The new constitution will bring a more decentralised political system which will limit the president’s powers and replace corrupt provincial governments with local counties.

 

It will also create a second chamber of parliament – the Senate – and set up a land commission to settle ownership disputes and review past abuses.

kenyans voting in referendum.jpgIt is hoped that the changes will help bring an end to the tribal differences which have brought violence to the country in the past.

 

“The historic journey that we began over 20 years ago is now coming to a happy end,” Mr Kibaki said earlier this month after the results of the referendum were announced on 5 August.

 

“There will be challenges along the way. But it is important that we look forward with renewed optimism to better days ahead.”

 

While many Kenyans say that this is just a start – and that things could still go very wrong – most believe it is a fundamentally better document than the last.

 

President Kibaki won a landslide victory in 2002 promising to change the constitution within 100 days of taking office. In 2005, he held a referendum but it failed to pass.

 

The previous constitution was negotiated with the British at Lancaster House, in London, in the early 1960s.