Drop bid to return CASs

The government does not seem ready to give up on the appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) which the High Court quashed for being unconstitutional. Of course, these positions were, just like in the last government, being used to reward sycophants or cronies, including election losers.

It is a mockery of democracy as those rejected by the voters are sneaked back into government and given lofty positions through which they do not make any contribution to national development.

A Bill that is in Parliament confirms that President William Ruto’s administration is determined to have the CAS position anchored in the Constitution. But it is going to increase the bloated public wage bill, which was Sh920 billion in June. It will thus worsen the situation of Kenyans already overburdened by high taxes and fuel prices and statutory deductions.

The move also seems to lend credence to reports that the CASs have continued to hang around their would-be officers and even participate in public functions, notwithstanding the fact that the court ruling was quite categorical that the holders should not draw salaries, allowances or any perks at all.

But now, the National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023 seeks to amend the National Government Coordination Act of 2013 to establish the CAS position though the matter is still pending in the Court of Appeal. It proposes to have the CASs report to the Attorney-General or cabinet secretaries in the performance of their duties

There are principal secretaries and CSs, who should be able to perform any duties and avoid duplication of having the CASs.

It will cost Sh500 million annually in salaries and other benefits. The government should read the public mood and not bring back the positions that were declared unconstitutional and an unnecessary burden to the taxpayers only in July.