Once Jomo Kenyatta died in 1978, the presidency was assumed by Daniel Arap Moi, designated successor to Kenyatta, who was faced with disagreements and tensions, culminating in an attempted coup d’etat in 1982.
Moi, reconfirmed in 1983 and again in 1988, established a policy of oppression that, especially since 1986, increased social and political tensions and ethnic ones.
In the late eighties discontent with rampant corruption in the government and the economic difficulties of the country expressed in the request of abolition of the one-party system and the consolidation of the opposition groups, generally repressed.
Only in December 1991, following growing internal and International pressures, the extraordinary Assembly of KANU approved a document legalizing opposition parties, sanctioning the return to political pluralism.
In late 1992, in an atmosphere of new ethnic clashes, that saw opposing especially the Maasai and the Kalenjin versus the Kikuyu, Moi was again re-elected to the presidency, while KANU won over the majority of the National Assembly seats.
After new signs of political hardening by the President of the Republic, that had feedback in foreign policy with the suspension of International aid, the 1997 election campaign was marked throughout the country by violent protests against the government's economic policy.
At the end of that same year, presidential and legislative elections, despite the internal growth of an opposition denouncing fraud and voting irregularities, were won by Moi and he was reconfirmed as head of the state and the majority in the National Assembly was assigned to KANU.
After a cabinet reshuffle in 1999, in June 2001 Moi decided to form a new coalition government, where also entered the historic opposition leader, Raila Odinga.
In the presidential elections held in late 2002 Moi after 24 years in power, did not show up as a candidate, marking the de facto collapse of his regime after 24 years of rule.
The opposition, gathered in the Rainbow Coalition, brought their own candidate, the economist Mwai Kibaki to become the third president of Kenya, with a mandate to revive the fortunes of Kenya.
Despite election promises the new president was not able to improve the economic conditions of the country where political corruption and poor security continued to be major problems; indeed, he tried to strengthen his powers presenting in November 2005, a referendum on amending the Constitution: in consultation the dissenting opinions prevailed, and as a result Kibaki forced the entire government to resign.
New presidential elections were held in 2007; they, won by a few votes by Kibaki, were bitterly contested by both Odinga and the International observers.
In the country erupted violent clashes among political factions, and partly ethnic, that caused more than 1,000 deaths.
The general elections of 2008 were marked by an explosion of ethnic violence that continued even after the proclamation by a narrow margin of victory of the outgoing president's party: only through the mediation of Kofi Annan they came to a truce among the factions, with the understanding that President Kibaki and his main rival Odinga would govern together: the latter was then appointed Prime Minister, a position newly created and subsequently abolished.
The subsequent general elections of 2013 were won by Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Jomo Kenyatta.