Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Observations on Kenya’s Draft Constitution II: the “Birthers” were Right…

…about Barack Obama. Article 17(2) of the Draft provides that “A person born outside Kenya is a citizen if, at the date of the person’s birth, either the mother or the father of the person is a citizen . . . (a) who was born in Kenya.” In other words, if the draft passes, Obama becomes a Kenyan citizen, at least according to the Kenyans.

The current constitution of Kenya contains a similar provision in Article 90, but it only applies to those born outside Kenya after 11 December 1963, the date of independence. For those like Obama (b. 1961) born outside Kenya before independence with a Kenyan parent, Article 89 provides that they will become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a “British protected person.” But that status required registration.


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