Ruto allies pin hopes for soft landing on CAS jobs

William Ruto

President William Ruto (right) arrives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union yesterday. 

Photo credit: PPS

The court’s ruling that the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) was legally established has come as a sigh of relief to many poll losers coalescing around President William Ruto who are still in the cold five months after Kenya Kwanza Alliance took over the country’s leadership.

The CAS post, which falls just below the Cabinet Secretary and above the Principal Secretary, was seen as an office to reward key allies who lose elections as it is often packed with politicians. Civil society groups and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) say it has no value for money.

“Following the dismissal of the LSK case on CAS position by the [Employment and Labour relations Court], the Public Service Commission will continue with the process of recruitment from where it left when the LSK petitioned the court last year. The Commission board will convene to come up with a programme for shortlisting of applicants and the interview schedule,” said PSC Communications Director Browne Kutswa.

PSC had revealed that a total of 5,000 Kenyans had applied for the post, with the President said to be eyeing only 22 picks.

With the PSC grading CAS at CSG 3 which is equivalent to job group V, it means that they will earn Sh765,188 in gross monthly salary. They will also be entitled to allowances similar to Cabinet Secretaries.

Among those hoping for either CAS or ambassadorial position are former Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, former Soy MP Caleb Kositany, former Migori governor Okoth Obado and former Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala.

Also optimistic that they will not be left out are former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, former Laikipia woman rep Cate Waruguru, former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, former Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi, former Nairobi woman rep Millicent Omanga, former Starehe MP Simon Mbugua, former Starehe MP Charles Njagua, former nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura and former Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa.

Others are Dr Irene Asienga, Dr Robert Muriithi and Dr Crispin Bokea, who were part of Dr Ruto’s economic advisory council.

Some of those who have applied for the CAS positions are former MPs Tecla Tum (Nandi), Cornelly Serem (Aldai), Moses Lessonet (Eldama Ravine), Joseph Limo (Kipkelion East), former Nyandarua Speaker Ndegwa Wahome. Former Kirinyaga woman rep Purity Ngirici is likely to land a CAS post, especially after she withdrew her petition against Governor Anne Waiguru’s election. Those who joined President Ruto’s camp after the poll like Ms Janet Ong’era, former Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, and former Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana are also hopeful.

Governance expert Javas Bigambo said President Ruto has outsmarted his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta by ensuring that every region benefits from his appointments.

“He [Dr Ruto] is keen to solidify his national appeal and avoid any chance of being held hostage by anyone or any region or community. The ultimate goal may be to annihilate Raila Odinga politically,” he added.