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Make or break for Ruto’s 50 CAS as court decides fate

The High Court is set to decide the fate of 50 Cabinet Assistant Secretaries (CAS) on Monday afternoon.

The ruling is highly anticipated in the country as the high cost of living has already affected the lives of Kenyans, considering that the salary of a CAS is made up of a basic salary of Sh459,113 and a housing allowance of Sh165,000.

All eyes are now on the three-member bench of Justices Aleem Visram, Kanji Kimondo and Hedwig Ong’undi formed by Chief Justice Martha Koome to hear and decide the case.

Even though the Public Service Commission (PSC) conducted a public participation exercise before advertising the CAS positions, Kenyan citizen Eliud Matindi, who lives in the UK, the Law Society of Kenya and Katiba Kenya immediately went to court when President William Ruto appointed his CASs.

The petitioners said that Article 201 of the Constitution of Kenya, which deals with public finance principles, had been violated.

The petitioners also argued that Article 228(5) of the Constitution, which states that the Controller of Budget shall not authorise any withdrawal from any public fund unless he is satisfied that the withdrawal is authorised by law, had been violated.

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Among the nominees for the 50 positions are the president’s close allies who worked with him during the election campaign and some who lost their bids.

Some of the notable names chosen by the president include his long-time blogger Dennis Itumbi, former Nairobi governor Dr Evans Kidero and former nominated MP Millicent Nyaboke Omanga.

The 50 positions were spread across the various departments of Kenya’s Kwanza administration, including the newly created Office of the Cabinet Secretary, which received three CASs.

The three CAS nominated by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua are Ann Wanjiku Mwangi, Nicholas Ngabiya Rioba and Edwin Sudi Wandabusi.

Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has been appointed CAS to Sharif Athman Ali, Isaac Mwaura Maigua and Rehema Hassan.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has accused the President of running a bloated government, saying the 51 Principal Secretaries were enough to run the various ministries.

Mr Odinga said the Uhuru Kenyatta administration had failed to reduce the cost of living as it promised Kenyans during the election campaign and had instead made their lives harder by running a bloated government that demands more taxes.

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