The High Court has ruled that the 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) are unconstitutional.
In the ruling delivered Monday, a three-judge bench found that public participation was only conducted for 23 CASs while the additional 27 CASs did not adhere to the requirement.
“Based on the record before us it is evident that the Public Service Commission failed in its mandate. The undeniable conclusion is that the prices of establishing the extra 27 posts was unconstitutional,” the bench ruled
Justices Kanyi Kimondo and Aleem Visram argued that the entire complement of 50 CASs position was unconstitutional and presents illegal, irregular and unconstitutional duplicity of roles as those of Principal Secretaries.
“We do not think that it was the intention of the framers of the constitution to have 50 CASs deputising 22 Cabinet Secretaries. Furthermore, public participation on the office of CAS was founded on a complement of 23 CASs,” Justice Kimondo stated.
However, Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’undi gave a dissenting opinion stating that the additional 27 CAS positions were created unconstitutionally but the 23 approved by the PSC during former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure were created constitutionally.
“I find that the manner of establishment of the additional 27 CAS posts was unconstitutional. On the flip side I find the establishment of the CAS office in the public service with 23 posts to be constitutional,” she stated.
President William Ruto on 16th March, 2023 appointed 50 CASs against 23 vacancies announced by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The 50 CASs were later sworn in on March 23 after the National Assembly declined to vet them saying it had no constitutional authority to do so.
On March 24, the High Court stopped the 50 CASs from assuming office pending the hearing and determination of a suit filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Katiba Institute.