Okiya Omtatah, 3 others challenge creation of CASs offices

Okiya Omtatah

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.

Photo credit: Pool

Four people among them Busia senator Okiya Omtatah and a Nakuru based surgeon Dr Magare Gikenyi have moved to court to block President William Ruto from appointing chief administrative secretaries (CASs).

In a case filed under certificate of urgency, the petitioners want the High Court to suspend several sections of the National Coordination Act, which created the office of the CAS and Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service.

The petition stated that the effect of the amendment is the unconstitutional creation of amorphous offices, which in effect leads or will lead to unnecessary and unconstitutionally spending of scarce public finances contrary to Article 201 of the constitution.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this Application, the Honourable Court be pleased to issue a conservatory order suspending sections 8(3), 8(5), 8(6), 8(8), 12a(1), 12a(2), 12a(4) and 12a(8), National Government Coordination Act [cap. 127, laws of Kenya, as amended by National Government Administration (Amendment) Act, 2024,” the petitioners prayed.

Mr Omtatah and the other petitioners contend that the two statutory offices have been introduced in contravention of the Constitution.

They said the government intends to go ahead and implement the changes of the Act as regards recommendation and appointment of CASs, even though there is a pending appeal, challenging similar appointments of 50 CASs.

Dr Gikenyi said the High Court in the earlier case held that the office of CAS was equivalent in all aspects, to that of the Principal Secretary, hence would lead to a duplication of roles.

“It is the Petitioners’ case, therefore, that, just like the Court of Appeal, this Honourable Court should stay implementation of the impugned provisions pending the hearing and determination of the Petitioners’ case against those provisions,” Dr Gikenyi said.

He urged the court to grant the prayers sought to preserve the integrity of the Constitution, which they believe has been violated and is threatened with violation by the enactments, pending the determination of the case.