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The Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Masika Wetang’ula will today Wednesday, March 20, 2024 rule on the constitutionality of the National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 73 of 2023).

The Bill currently undergoing its Second reading aims to establish both the positions of the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) and the Chief of Staff.

Leader of Minority Opiyo Wandayi had expressed concerns, stating that if the bill is passed as is, it could lead to legal challenges akin to previous ones where the High Court deemed the position unlawful.

Wandayi argued that the roles outlined for the CAS and the Chief of Staff in the bill violate the Constitution.

He, therefore, urged Parliament not to advance the Bill in its current state.

Public participation preceding the drafting of the Constitution (2010) yielded consensus to abolish the position of Assistant Minister.

Contributing to the same debate Rarieda MP Paul Otiende Amollo said passing the Bill into law is contrary to the will of Kenyans.

“We are seeking to defeat the will of Kenyans as a House. That is unacceptable,” Amollo said adding the move would sabotage gains under the new constitutional order. He challenged proponents to subject the proposal to a national referendum.

“Proposal to introduce an uncapped number of CASs is indeed an affront to the constitution and would occasion additional expense on public finances and pose an unnecessary burden to taxpayers,” Amollo stated.

On 16 March 2023 President Ruto nominated 50 individuals for appointment to the position of Chief Administrative Secretary against the legal threshold of 23 existing vacancies. The 50 were nominated from a list of 240 candidates.

Subsequently, human rights activists took the decision to court and the appointed CASs through their various legal representatives, have maintained that their appointment was lawful.

The effect of this was three cases being lodged before the High Court, one by a Kenyan citizen living in the UK, Eliud Matindi, another by the Law Society of Kenya in conjunction with Katiba Institute and another by a Kenyan citizen. The cases were consolidated and heard together.

LSK and Katiba, in their submissions, argued that the said nomination went against a letter to the chairperson of the Public Service Commission from the Head of Public Service requesting a vacancy declaration of 23 vacancies in the office of CAS.

They said at the time of their application for the position of CAS, only 23 vacancies lawfully existed.

The petitioners sought to have the court nullify the decision of President William Ruto to create an additional twenty-seven Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) positions.

They also accused the Public Service Commission (PSC) of abdicating its roles which they say has enabled the president to establish 27 additional offices in violation of the constitution.

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