CAS Positions: Raila Odinga’s Loyalists Set To Benefit

By The Weekly Vision Team

The benefits of a secret handshake between President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga have eventually led to the appointment of Dr. Akinyi Wenwa, Mr. Odinga’s sister, as Deputy Head of Mission in Los Angeles, USA. But the appointment of Dr Wenwa may just turn out to be the tip of the iceberg with sources saying more appointments are in the pipeline.

Some of Raila Odinga’s allies will be appointed to the yet-to-be-created position of Chief Administrative Secretaries. The positions of CAS had been declared unconstitutional by the High Court after President Ruto appointed 50 individuals to the positions.

To ensure new appointments do not suffer the same fate in the courts, the president has ensured that the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly works on a legislative amendment to a series of laws to establish the office of the CAS. As proposed by the committee, the number of these positions will not surpass twenty-two, and the president will make the appointments based on recommendations from the Public Service Commission (PSC).

According to the proposals, an aspiring CAS pick must possess a bachelor’s degree and have prior experience in public service while meeting the requirements as outlined in Chapter Six of the Constitution regarding leadership and integrity. Additionally, candidates will be disqualified if they have been convicted of an offense punishable by a jail term of six months without the option of a fine, declared bankrupt, hold a political party office, or have been impeached.

Sources say the proposals will receive overwhelming support across the political divide since Mr. Odinga is likely to whip his Azimio-allied MPs to support the proposals that would see his allies benefit from the creation and entrenchment of the 22 CAS positions in law. It is still not known how the president will handle the over 25 CAS he had appointed earlier, considering that he had already appointed 50 while the proposal now can only accommodate 22 slots. It is also going to be an uphill task for the president to pick a few of his allies to fill the slots and at least donate five of the slots to the opposition.

The requirements, such as being a degree holder, will lock out some of the people the president had on his earlier list of 50, while some of the nominees have been given other state jobs, such as Isaac Mwaura, Denis Itumbi, Joash Maangi, and Frederick Outa, among others. The issue of Chapter Six will also lock out some of his allies, such as former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko, as the proposal locks out any public officer who has been impeached. Others who have been named but do not meet the academic qualification criteria for a bachelor’s degree will be locked out, such as former Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri.

Sources say lobbying is now in top gear for the 22 slots that are up for grabs. Raila Odinga’s allies are said to be pushing for consideration for the appointment, as are the president’s men and women, who had been named in the previous list and who had even taken the oath of office as CAS. Several former MPs who lost the 2022 elections merely because they supported Raila Odinga’s presidential bid could be considered for the CAS slots. Most of the former candidates are from the Mount Kenya region who run on the Jubilee ticket.