Kiharu Member of Parliament (MP) Ndindi Nyoro has defended the appointment of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) by President William Ruto saying they are needed to deliver the Kenya Kwanza agenda.
Speaking in an interview with NTV on Thursday night, December 7, Nyoro said the CAS position, which was recently stopped by the High Court for being unconstitutional, was necessary for the government to deliver effectively.
The MP defended President Ruto's appointment of more than 50 CASs saying that they would define government priorities and promote the implementation of programs.
"From where I sit, I have always held consistently that the President was right in terms of having assistants to our cabinet secretaries. Having CASs was basically to do some of the work CSs do," he said.
The legislator further argued that the CAS would assist Cabinet and Principal Secretaries who he says are overwhelmed with various obligations.
"The reasoning behind having CASs was to free up some time for the CS and PS to do the job. Much of the work you do is thinking. If you don’t get time to think, then you will end up being a marionate…you will be so busy doing a lot of many things but the output may not be seen," said Nyoro.
"The reason for having them was also to be able to do some of the work that the CSs do; that when for example we are in the budget-making process, the CS and the PS come to the committees more often than not."
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He refuted claims of the additional expenditure that the government would incur to pay the CAS.
Nyoro who is also the Chair of the National Assembly Budgetary Committee cited the Sh700 billion wage bill noting the country was capable of catering for their salaries.
"The intention of having CASs is very valid. The wage bill is currently at Sh700 billion. We have around a million civil servants... the CASs' salaries are below negligible. I believe they are necessary and not an extra burden," Nyoro noted.
The High Court in July this year dismissed the appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries by President Ruto, terming it unconstitutional.
His remarks come after National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah proposed amendments to the National Government Coordination Act, 2013 to reinstate the CAS positions by amending four acts.
According to the proposed bill, a bachelor’s degree, experience in public service, and meeting the requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution are the prerequisites for appointment as a CAS.