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Dagoretti North lawmaker Beatrice Elachi backs Ruto’s CAS push

By Mercy Simiyu December 8th, 2023 2 min read

Dagoretti North lawmaker Beatrice Elachi has backed President William Ruto’s move to reintroduce the Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) positions.

Speaking during a television interview, Elachi, who served as Public Service and Gender CAS said the positions dismissed by a High Court ruling in 2023 are vital in tracking the progress of different departments.

She stressed the importance of Cabinet Secretaries working with assistants.

“I have said in fairness of the country, and delivery of service and ensuring those ministries can function in the right way you (a Cabinet Secretary) needs a deputy to have a clear role,” explained Elachi.

“Look at our Environment CS, she will need a deputy because in most meetings she is out of the country. She has to go because she is supposed to give our stand as Kenya and what we want to see on issues of climate change and so you need a deputy who will follow through on other issues within the ministry.”

The lawmaker, who is allied to the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) also indicated the need to expand the Principal Secretary’s position to include up to three spots in a ministry.

“When you look at different ministries they have three PSs, if you have a deputy, he/she will take over a few of these issues that will come,” she added.

In March 2023, President William Ruto appointed 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries to serve in various ministries.

In an announcement made by State House spokesperson Hussein Mohammed, the appointees mainly included the President’s cronies who had contributed to his election victory, including election loses such as Evans Kidero, Millicent Omanga and Isaac Mwaura.

Other appointees were prominent blogger Dennis Itumbi.

The appointees were sworn in but soon after barred from holding office following a court order following a petition by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Katiba Institute challenging the appointment process.

Three months later, the High Court, in a ruling delivered by judges Kanyi Kimondo, Hedwig Ong’undi and Allem Visram dismissed the CAS appointments, terming the move as unconstitutional.

President Ruto appears undeterred however as in December, a bill has been introduced in Parliament that will among other things seek to establish and better define the role of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs), has gone through its first reading in Parliament.

The National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill which seeks to make various amendments to four Acts is viewed as a route to revive the CAS position that was declared unconstitutional by the High Court in July this year.