Omtatah and Three Others Challenge CAS Appointments in Court

May 30, 2024

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah and three others have filed a petition against the government challenging the appointment of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS).

The petition comes after President Ruto successfully reinstated the contentious positions, resulting in an increase of the country’s public service wage bill by at least Kes.450 million annually.

The successful reintroduction followed the gazetting of The National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Act, 2024, which enshrined the position in law, with the legal changes becoming effective from May 17.

However, the legal amendments did not impose a limit on the number of Cabinet Administrative Secretaries, providing President Ruto with the opportunity to reward political allies or any leader of his choosing.

If appointed by the Head of State upon a recommendation by the SRC, CASs are expected to receive a gross salary of Kes.780,000.

Now, Omtatah and three other Kenyans are urging the court to halt the establishment of the CAS office in a case filed under a certificate of urgency.

The four are demanding a re-evaluation of the decision to establish the position. They have asked the High Court to suspend several sections of the National Coordination Act, which created the offices of the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, as well as CAS.

According to Omtatah, the creation of these offices will result in unnecessary and unconstitutional spending of scarce public finances, contradicting Article 201 of the constitution.

Pending the hearing and determination of this Application, the Honorable Court be pleased to issue a conservatory order suspending sections 8(3), 8(5), 8(6), 8(8), 12a(1), 12a(2), 12a(4) and 12a(8), National Government Coordination Act [cap. 127, laws of Kenya, as amended by National Government Administration (Amendment) Act, 2024,” reads part of the petition.

Furthermore, the petitioners claim that the government intends to proceed with implementing the changes of the said Act regarding the recommendation and appointment of the officials. According to them, this contradicts a pending appeal filed before the Court of Appeal challenging similar appointments of 50 CASs.

Respondents in the case include the Attorney General, the Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC), and the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Don't Miss