Huge CAS nominees list a bloated mockery

President William Ruto’s nomination of 50 people to serve as Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) is going to needlessly create a bloated administration.

This, indeed, is a mockery of the principle behind the constitutional capping of the number of Cabinet Secretaries at 22. 

The ceiling was meant to reduce the cost of running the government, but having more than double that number as CASs undermines this.

During these difficult times, with the cost of living skyrocketing, the national leadership should demonstrate a commitment to the prudent use of public resources.

This sets the stage for the blatant wastage of public resources. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has defended the nominations, claiming that the holders will help to revive the economy. The plain truth, though, is that they will just add a huge burden.

Indeed, this is more politically motivated, as most of the beneficiaries are Kenya Kwanza Alliance election losers and some politicians who have ditched the Azimio la Umoja One Coalition Party. They include individuals from Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s political backyard, who have deserted him to worm their way into the Ruto administration.

The new Executive is expected to gobble up to Sh13.2 billion in five years. Proof of the juggling to appease political interests is evident in the fact that the Public Service Commission (PSC) had initially been asked to create 23 CAS positions.

The expansion of the list must have been necessitated by adjustments to include and politically reward more people. Ironically, the CAS list also misses out on the two-thirds gender rule, with only 14 of the slots going to women.

The CASs will earn Sh460 million annually and Sh2.3 billion in five years. Each will pocket Sh765,188 monthly and enjoy hefty mortgage payments, medical cover and car grants. 

President Ruto has apparently abandoned his ‘Hustler’ voter base to favour the political bigwigs, some of whom have pending criminal cases in court.

This is a mockery of the voters, as he rode on a campaign of prudent use of taxpayers’ funds, and it also puts into question his fidelity to his election campaign promises. Political expediency must never trump good governance.