President William Ruto is presiding over the swearing in of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) at State House, Nairobi.
The 50 CASs were gazetted for formal appointment on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 after National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula noted that the need to vet the nominees was not anchored in the law, hence the Parliament's decision to refrain from it.
“The obligation to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution enjoins the House to refrain from assuming and discharging a role that it has not been expressly assigned by the Constitution or written law.
"In that regard, the National Assembly is unable to vet the nominees in the absence
of an express constitutional or statutory requirement to do so,” Wetang’ula said.
As a result, Statehouse spokesperson Hussein Mohamed said the 50 appointees were ready to assume their offices through oath.
"As a consequence of the referral by the Speaker of the National Assembly which has found that there is no constitutional or statutory basis upon which the August House can vet the nominees, the Head of State and Government has today 22nd March 2023 caused the appointment of the nominees to various Ministries as earlier notified," Mohamed said.
CASs nomination challenged
The High Court on Tuesday, March 21 certified as urgent a lawsuit seeking to quash the decision of President to create an additional 27 positions last week.
Justice Hedwig Ong'undi certified the case filed by a Kenyan citizen residing in the United Kingdom Eliud Karanja Matindi and directed him to serve the court papers to the President, Attorney General Justin Muturi, National Assembly, Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Public Service Commission, Controller of Budget and all the 50 CASs before Thursday, March 23, 2023, when the case will be mentioned for further direction.
"I hereby certify the matter as urgent and of great public interest. I, therefore, direct all the pleadings to be served on all parties immediately.
"The responses are to be filed and served immediately upon service. The case is to be mentioned on March 23, 2023, at 11:00 am for further directions," Justice Ong'undi ruled.
Matindi is challenging the decision by Ruto to nominate 50 persons on Thursday last week for approval by Parliament to be appointed to the office of CAS, in the full knowledge that only 23 positions were created and recruited outside the provisions of the constitution and the law.
According to the petitioner, the PSC had allowed the creation of only 23 CAS offices but the President appointed 50 of them.