The High Court has issued orders barring the 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) appointed by President William Ruto from assuming office pending the hearing and determination of a petition challenging their appointment process.
Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’udi’s ruling was a big win for Kenyans, who were staring at another burden of funding the CAS amid the spiralling high cost of living.
The ruling barred the newly-appointed CASs from earning a salary, remuneration, and any benefit pending the conclusion of the case filed by the Law Society of Kenya and Katiba Institute.
In the petition, the two bodies have sued President William Ruto and the Public Service Commission (PSC), while all the 50 CASs have been listed as interested parties in the case.
The President made appointed the 50 CAS last week, against the 23 recommended to him by the PSC.
By appointing 50 CASs, the petitioners argue, the President violated Article 10 of the Constitution since he was “in the full knowledge that only 23 positions were created and recruited for.”
“By creating the additional 27 positions, the Respondents violated the binding constitutional principles, such as the national values and principles of governance, contrary to Articles 4 and 10, particularly patriotism, national unity, the rule of law, democracy, participation of the people, good governance, integrity, transparency accountability and sustainable development,” court documents read in part.
Further, the papers read that, “he latter is especially implicated due to the additional, unsanctioned call on public finances to fund the irregular positions.”
The petitioners further argue that by creating additional 27 offices in the public service, to be financed using public funds, the President violated and threatened to violate Articles 201 and 228 which call for prudent use of public resources.
LSK and Katiba Institute further submit that the Public Service Commission has abdicated its roles under article 234 which are to inter alia to establish public offices in compliance and subject to articles 10, 232 and all provisions of the constitution.
The case will be mentioned on March 28, 2023 for further directions.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) recently raised the salaries for CASs to Sh 780,000 up from the previous Sh 765,188 following a job evaluation that put the position in a higher job grade.
“SRC has determined the monetary worth of the job of CAS at grade F1 and would like to advise on the attendant remuneration and benefits structure,” said the SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich in a March 14, 2023 letter to her PSC counterpart, Anthony Muchiri.