Court Saves CASs Jobs

In a case filed by Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki, President Kenyatta was proven right in his decision to create the CAS post, despite the failure to subject the Cabinet Secretaries to fresh vetting and approval by Parliament. 

Court Saves CASs Jobs

The Court of Appeal stopped a High Court ruling that declared President Uhuru Kenyatta's Cabinet Administrative Secretary (CAS) position unconstitutional, sparing the blushes of those currently holding them.

In a case filed by Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki, President Kenyatta was proven right in his decision to create the CAS post, despite the failure to subject the Cabinet Secretaries to fresh vetting and approval by Parliament. 

Kariuki, through State Counsel Charles Mutinda while tabling his sentiments, argued that if the orders granted by Judge Anthony Mrima are not halted, the position of CAS will be done away with for good.

Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki. /FILE

Mutinda added that the CAS and CSs faced the dire prospect of not only losing their jobs but also interrogation from all corners over some of the actions they took during their tenure. 

Mutinda further argued that the execution of Judge Mrima's orders will leave President Uhuru Kenyatta with a cabinet that is disorganised.

He claimed that the order will cast a dark cloud on the public as the government will not be able to function properly. Further, he said that it was impossible to comply with the High Court Order considering the fact that President Uhuru has only a few months left before he steps down from office. 

"It is our findings that although there is already an inbuilt stay granted by the trial court, public interest underpinning the substratum of the intended appeal would demand that we affirm the interim orders," Judges Roselyne Nambuye, Wanjiru Karanja, and Agnes Murgor ruled. 

Judge Mrima on Tuesday, April 20 had declared all 29 CAS positions unconstitutional, three years after President Uhuru created the post in 2018. 

Some of the CASs who held the post notably in the current administration include Rachel Shebesh (Public Service and Gender), Ababu Namwamba (Foreign Affairs), Mercy Mwangangi (Health), Beatrice Elachi (Public Service and Gender) Nadia Ahmed Abdalla (ICT) among others. 

At the time of creation, Uhuru explained that individuals who occupy the CAS position would be responsible for helping the Cabinet Secretaries to run affairs in their respective ministries more effectively. 

“I have decided to establish a new position in government, the position of Chief Administrative Secretary in all our ministries,” Uhuru stated at the time. 

This role was made similar to that of an assistant minister that was in the former constitution. However, this role was not defined in the new (2010) constitution.

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation at State House on June 29, 2021. /PSCU