MAPE Theses and Dissertations (2015)

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    An Analysis of the judicial code of conduct and ethics and the vetting process of judicial officers from a virtue ethics perspective
    (Strathmore University, 2015) Andayi W. Francis
    The Judicial Service Code of Conduct and Ethics (JSCCE) for the Kenyan judges and magistrates collectively referred to here as judicial officers, is an ethical guide for the successful delivery of their judicial duty. Judicial ethics as represented in the JSCCE appears to follow two main ethical approaches, deontology and consequentialism or utilitarianism. Questions abound on the success of these ethical approaches to positively influence the conduct of judicial officers and provide the requisite ethical guidance. Judicial officers continue to receive condemnation from varied qum1ers for failing to follow the path of rectitude within and outside of their judicial calling. The demand by Kenyans that under the new Constitution of Kenya 20 I 0 all serving judicial officers undergo a vetting process to determine their suitability to continue serving in the judiciary is testimony to the low level of test the public has in the judicial officers. To address this challenge this study explored how the virtue ethics approach, as an alternative to deontology and utilitarianism, can be utilized as a foundation for judicial ethics. The aim of this study therefore is to determine whether the vi11ue ethics approach, which is agent centered and opposed to deontology and consequentialism, which are action-focused, can be applied to the JSCCE and the vetting process to make better judicial ethics in Kenya. The vi11ue ethics approach is approp1iate for this study because of its recent resurgence in ethical theme as well as its appeal to beliefs, emotions, thoughts, and values instead of actions and consequences which are influenced by a system of rewards and punishment. The study applied a content analysis method to analyze the contents of the JSCCE and the vetting process, which are two areas of focus on judicial ethics in Kenya, to uncover the elements of virtue ethics espoused therein. The study found that there are some 20 elements of virtue ethics found in the JSCCE and the vetting process. These are justice, courage, independence, practical wisdom among others. However, the presence of the elements alone was found not sufficient to make virtue ethics the theoretical base for judicial ethics in Kenya for two reasons. First, the elements are limited in scope in the JSCCE. Second, the elements are not expressed in virtue ethics language but rather they are formulated as rules and principles in line with the deontological and consequentialist ethical frameworks. However, it also emerged that with proper articulation of the JSCCE and the vetting criteria, the principles and rules can be reformulated to take account of a virtue ethics approach and thereby embed it as a sound theoretical base for judicial ethics in Kenya. The study made suggestions and recommendations on the ways through which judicial ethics can take account of virtue ethics and how to align the .TSCCE and the vetting process to each other through the virtue ethics approach to improve on judicial ethics and ultimately the conduct of judicial officers in Kenya.
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    Is the family a principle of the nation in the Kenyan constitution if examined from an Aristotelian perspective?
    (Strathmore University, 2015) Mutura, Raymond
    The current constitution (2010 Chapter) defines family as a natural and fundamental unit of society and the necessary basis of social order. The Marriage Act (2014), Matrimonial Property Act (2013), the Children Act (2002) and the Sessional Paper on National Values (2012) provide principles of the family in relation to marriage, matrimonial property, children and how national values emerge from the family. Despite having various studies on the family, there have been few scholarly inquiries on how to assess the core principles of the family from a sound theoretical analysis. The study investigates Aristotle’s principles on the family as illustrated in his book Politics and examine other foundational principles related to the family from his other books – Nichomachean Ethics and Metaphysics. The study’s objective is to demonstrate how the principles expressed in the different family governing laws of Kenya are informed or not by the principles of the family as illustrated by Aristotle in his book Politics. This study uses the qualitative method, involving desktop and documentary analysis. The findings can inform and establish sound principles for Kenya’s Family Policies and Laws and other African countries’ laws and policies as the results reveal sound and Aristotelian principles based on a very logical theoretical framework of the four causes that has been utilized in philosophy to affirm principles about things. The three causes utilized in the study include material, formal and final causes. The fourth case, the efficient cause was not interrogated due to the tendency of research moving towards the philosophy of God.
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    An Analysis of the extent to which the Kenya basic education Act (2013) provides for parental choice to homeschool: the primary and central role of parents as educators.
    (Strathmore University, 2018) Gathure, Thomas Mundia
    Education in Kenya has witnessed a shift in ownership and management in the last 100 years. It has shifted from parents and community in the pre-colonial period to foreign missionaries and now to the State. While the State assumes a more primary and central role in the control of education, a new problem arises regarding choice and freedoms for other stakeholders. The recent enactment of the Kenya Basic Education Act, 2013 following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 has presented one such scenario in the primary and central role of the State in education as compared to that of parents. The Act fails to recognise a legitimate and credible option of education - homeschooling - while at the same time criminalising the failure to take children to the prescribed schools in the Act. This raises questions as to the philosophical foundation underpinning the Act that could be contributing to this position. Due to the study’s philosophical focus on understanding meanings and beliefs as well as the nature of the research questions, a qualitative research approach (a desk review supported by questionnaires and interviews) was selected. The research questions, measurable indicators and research findings were defined and interpreted in light of the philosophy of Jacques Maritain (an influential philosopher of education and participant of the drafting of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights).The research findings confirmed the effects of a limited philosophical foundation of the Act in its understanding of education, the place where education takes place, disproportionate roles vested on the State as compared to other stakeholders as well as the limited reflection of freedoms enshrined in the Constitution that support homeschooling. The study recommends a total overhaul of the philosophical foundation in which the Act is based to ensure any amendments are well guided and contextualised. Formulators of the Act could benefit from further study to understand the nature of homeschooling and ways to accommodate and support it for parents who choose it.
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    An analysis of the appreciation of the beautiful and its place in daily living as understood by university students in Nairobi County
    (Strathmore University, 2015) Kariuki, Esther Wangeci
    This investigation has been an attempt to get to the root cause why many Kenyans appear to have little concern for a beautiful physical environment in terms of urban cleanliness, order, and courtesy in the transport sector. The experience in many parts of Kenya especially the capital city of Nairobi bespeak of chaos especially with regard to the apparent deficiency in the planning and construction of buildings, open gutters and display of sales, disposal of waste which more often than not mercilessly litter the city. In an effort to capture the mindset of the ordinary Kenyan in these matters, this researcher reached out to a portion of the urban population through a survey administered on university students in order to gauge their appreciation of the aesthetical and to find out if they associate aesthetics to ethics in their daily living. The survey was administered to 70 students in 6 private and public universities. The results of the survey were analyzed using library resources such as journals, books and research papers. The results revealed that there in an essential appreciation of beautiful things and beautiful environment among university students. However there are cultural, social and educational elements that undermine the concern for or the maintenance of good physical environment when one has to choose where to live and how to live there. The results also reveal that there is a dire need to foster a sense of harmony and order, cleanliness, maintenance and repair during the formative years of young people at the different educational levels to prepare them to appreciate and be responsible for the harmony and order in the urban environments. This study will be of immense benefit to the education department in curriculum planning and development, as well as in understanding an overlooked aspect of the human person which is just as important as science and technology. The study will also be of benefit to urban planners in order to make allowances for the absolute humanizing role of aesthetics and ethics underlying building and construction. Urban planners may find answers for the inclusion of facilities which humanize such as open green spaces, proper sewage systems, allowances of household laundry and storage facilities which lead to the appreciation of the beautiful in daily living.