CAS appointments: A gift to loyalists or a big team to revive the economy?

  • 24 Mar 2023
  • 2 Mins Read
  • 〜 by James Ngunjiri

The appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) on Thursday came as a reprieve for President William Ruto’s political allies who lost in the 2022 General Election as they are the main beneficiaries.

The President pointed out that he deliberately appointed some politicians because of their experience in politics and serving Kenyans, adding that he believes in second chances.

During former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime, the majority of the CASs were also his political allies who had lost in the 2017 General Election. The position is seen as a way of demonstrating that the government has not side-lined any part of the country, and some believe that President Ruto settled on political balancing.

The post of CAS was established by the President under Article 132 (4) (a) of the Constitution as read with Section 30 of the Public Service Commission Act, 2017. The Public Service Commission (PSC) went ahead to establish the position in the public service after conducting a public participation exercise that closed on October 6, 2022. 

In September last year, PSC chairperson Ambassador Anthony Muchiri said President Ruto was going to retain the position of CAS which had been declared unconstitutional by the High Court on April 20, 2021.

“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,” said Amb. Muchiri in a statement.

A court case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) challenging the creation of the position was dismissed last February by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, with the Judge noting that the PSC had followed the requisite legal procedure in its bid to establish the office, taking steps such as inviting public views.

Those who were interested in the position were expected to demonstrate ability to manage the administrative-political interface, articulate public policies and programmes, and undertake complex and high-pressure tasks that require engagements with multi-institutions and other public officers or offices, among others.

The PSC had indicated that the appointments would be contractual as determined, with successful candidates remunerated according to the CAS’ CSG 3 job grade. However, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) on Thursday said the CAS position will now fall in grade F1. The remuneration is comprising of KSh459,113 as basic salary, KSh165,000 as house allowance, and KSh155,887.

The office holders will also be provided with an official car with an engine capacity not exceeding 3,000cc, and a medical cover that includes KSh10 million for inpatient and KSh300,000 for outpatient. This is in addition to a car loan of up to KSh8 million, a mortgage of up to KSh35 million, KSh20,000 monthly airtime and KSh50,000 annual leave allowance. The CASs will upon exit be paid a service gratuity at the rate of 31 percent of the annual pensionable pay for the term served.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua while defending the CASs list said the country has a lot of work to revive the economy and that’s why the government needs a big team that will be dispersed across the world to look for markets for the country’s products.

He further added that the President will serve all Kenyans equally but will only work with people who have invested in the government because those are the only people he can trust with his agenda.