Elachi says CAS positions not wrong, only the name

Elachi says CAS positions not wrong, only the name

Dagoretti North MP Beatrice Elachi during a previous interview with Citizen TV.

Dagoretti North Member of Parliament Beatrice Elachi has weighed in on the High Court’s ruling declaring the appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) by President William Ruto as unconstitutional.

In the Monday ruling, Judges Kanyi Kimondo, Hedwig Ong'udi and Aleem Visram stated that public participation in the creation of the CAS post was only conducted for 23 occupants and the creation of the additional 27 occupants did not adhere to the constitutional requirement of public participation. 

Elachi, a former Gender and Public Service CAS in the previous administration, said the government should not have called the post ‘Advisor’ to avoid the contention around its constitutionality.

“Where the government went wrong was to call it CASs. These are positions that have always been there but under different names; advisors. I wish the government would have just retained that because it has worked for many years it’s only that people have never followed through to know,” she said.

“The public service has always engaged with government positions and those positions were there with the perks and everything, it’s only that the name was not CAS.”

Appearing on Citizen TV’s Day Break program on Tuesday, the MP argued that ministries need leaders apart from Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) and Principal Secretaries (PSs), to “follow through whether anything is happening in a ministry.”

“You can’t just leave it to the PS,” said Elachi.

In her opinion, what the Public Service Commission did not do right was clearly state the mandate and role of the CAS.

“Public Service needs to ensure you put a mandate,” she said, adding that without a CAS, the CS might run a ministry while leaving areas within their docket that is outside their field of expertise.

She also said President William Ruto should have appointed 23 people to fill the posts instead of adding 27 others.

The High Court’s ruling acknowledged that the CAS position was abolished last year, saying; "Once that office was abolished on 21 September 2022, the newly-created office and complement of 23 office holders could no longer benefit from that stay."

“The newly-created office and fresh complement of 50 had to comply with the constitution and the criteria set out earlier in Okiyah’s case in order to be lawfully established. They did not comply. The entire complement of 50 CASs is therefore unconstitutional,” the court ruled.

The court ruled the creation of the additional 27 CASs did not adhere to the constitutional requirement of public participation and quashed the appointment of all the 50 CASs as unconstitutional.

"Whereas there was some reasonable public participation on the first complement of 23 CASs, there was no such participation regarding the additional 27 CASs," read the ruling, adding, "The entire complement of the 50 CASs is unconstitutional."

The 50 CAS were sworn in by President Ruto on March 23 after the National Assembly declined to vet them saying it had no constitutional authority to do so.

The High Court later issued orders barring the CASs from assuming office pending the hearing and determination of the petition. The court also barred the appointees from earning a salary, remuneration, and any benefit pending the conclusion of the case.

Subsequently, the Judiciary said it did not preside over the swearing-in ceremony, noting that it did not send any official to the State House to conduct the ceremony and that it has no role whatsoever in the process.


Citizen TV Beatrice Elachi Citizen Digital CASs

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