President Uhuru Kenyatta has secured a temporary relief at the Court of Appeal in the battle to overturn a ruling by the High Court that declared the creation of the position of chief administrative secretary (CAS) unconstitutional.
In the latest orders, the Appellate Court temporarily suspended the implementation of the High Court verdict that had threatened President Kenyatta’s administration with the declaration that some Cabinet Secretaries were also in office illegally.
High Court Judge Anthony Mrima had in April this year ruled that CSs who are still in office but were not vetted in 2017, are in office illegally.
The judge also said that principal secretaries not competitively recruited by the Public Service Commission (PSC) are contravening the Constitution.
The AG, through State Counsel Charles Mutinda in his submission, argued that if the orders granted by Justice Mrima are not stayed, the position of CAS will cease to exist.
The lawyer submitted that the office holders will not only lose their jobs but their actions during the time they held office may be called to question.
Mutinda further argued that ten CSs and a number of principal secretaries affected by the decision may suffer a similar fate.
This, he said, means that the President’s cabinet will not be properly constituted hence affect service delivery to the members of the public.
He said that it is impossible to comply with the High Court Order bearing in mind President Kenyatta has only a few months left before retiring.
“It is our finding that although there is already an inbuilt stay granted by the trial court, public interest underpinning the substratum of the intended appeal would demand that we affirm the interim orders,” ruled justices Roselyne Nambuye, Wanjiru Karanja and Agnes Murgor while suspending the judgment of High Court judge Anthony Mrima.
The post of CAS was created by President Kenyatta in 2018.
A majority of the CASs affected are 2017 poll losers such as Ababu Namwaba, Gideon Mung’aro, Rachel Shebesh, Alex Mwiru, Linah Chebii, Ken Obura, Hussein Dado and Simon Kachapin among others.
CSs affected include Fred Matiang’i (Interior), James Macharia (Roads and Transport), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Charles Keter (Energy), Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs), Adan Mohamed (East Africa Community), Sicily Kariuki (Water), Najib Balala (Tourism) and Amina Mohamed (Sports).