By Kamadi Amata
The High Court has declared the creation of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) as unconstitutional. In a ruling by a three-judge bench composed of Justices Kanyi Kimondo, Hedwig Ong’undi, and Ali Visram, it was determined that the establishment of the CAS positions did not comply with the law. The judges concluded that it was not the intention of the constitution’s framers to have 50 CASs serving under 22 Cabinet Secretaries.
The court agreed with the petitioners’ argument that there was no public participation in the process of adding the 27 additional CAS positions. They ruled that the sequence and procedure leading to the creation of these posts did not meet the threshold of public participation required. The judges emphasized that it was the responsibility of the Public Service Commission (PSC) to demonstrate that public participation had been adequately carried out for all the positions.
On March 16, President William Ruto nominated 50 CASs for the available positions, despite there being only 23 vacancies announced by the Public Service Commission. The 50 nominees were selected from a list of 240 shortlisted candidates. However, the National Assembly refused to vet them, citing a lack of constitutional authority to do so. Consequently, the CASs were sworn in on March 23, 2023.
Following these events, the High Court issued orders prohibiting the CASs from assuming office until the hearing and determination of a petition challenging the appointment process.