President William Ruto is set to reward his political cronies with the position of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS).
The president, through the Public Service Commission, has released a notice calling for public participation in the establishment of the office of CAS.
“Pursuant to the provisions of Article 132(4)(a) of the Constitution, the President has proposed to establish the offices of Chief Administrative Secretary which will be offices in the public service and will be under the direction of Cabinet Secretaries,” the notice by the Public Service Commission said.
According to the notice, persons to hold the position of Chief Administrative Secretary shall be recommended for appointment by the Public Service Commission through a competitive recruitment process that shall culminate in a nomination by the President and vetting by the National Assembly.
“The appointees shall need to have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university and demonstrable ability to manage the administrative-political interface,” the notice added.
The CAS office was first established by former president Uhuru Kenyatta. The position was however declared illegal by the court.
High Court Judge Anthony Mrima in April 2021 ruled that Kenyatta’s creation of the position of Chief Administrative Secretaries in all government ministries was unconstitutional.
Okiya Omtatah, who is now the Senator for Busia, had filed a case in 2018 arguing that the President by creating the office of Chief Administrative Secretary without consideration of the costs of manning and running it, Article 201(d) of the Constitution, which provides that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way, was violated.
He faulted Kenyatta for hand picking and appointing persons to be CASs without subjecting them to a merit based competitive recruitment process.
“By creating the office of the CAS without consideration for the costs of manning and running it, article 201 (d) of the constitution which categorically provides that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way, was violated,” argued Omtatah.
The CAS positions are widely used to reward political cronies of the ruling administration.