January 19, 2020

Chief Administrative Secretary, a sexy name for public servants with no portfolio-Lawyer

Former Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba. [www.capitalfm.co.ke]

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second and final term in office has seen the return of Assistant Ministers’ position now branded as Chief Administrative Secretary.

Majority of those proposed to take over the positions of CAS at the ministries are Jubilee cronies who lost in the August 8 polls.

But, they remained loyal to the party and it is time to give a pat on their backs.

Uhuru said they will be tasked with helping the Cabinet Secretaries effectively run the ministries.

Notable names of political renegades proposed to take over various ministries as Administrative Secretaries include former Nairobi County Women Representative Rachel Shebesh and his ex-Budalangi counterpart Ababu Namwamba.

Shebesh was nominated the CAS in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender while Namwamba was nominated on a similar position in the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Former Kisii Senator Chris Obure bagged a similar nomination in the ministry of Infrastructure and Transport while former Tana River Governor Hussein Dado was nominated as the CAS for the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL areas.

Others are ex-Kilifi North Gideon Mungaro (Lands), former Narok West MP Patrick Ntutu (Interior), and former West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin (Education).

But even as Uhuru says that the auxiliary position in the 22-member Cabinet is meant to stream line service delivery, section of political players coined it as a mechanism to reward loyalists who would not fit in the limited Cabinet slots.

Another Jubilee loyalist, Winnie Guchu who was Uhuru’s Deputy Chief Agent during the polls has been nominated for CAS post in the ministry of Water.

Uhuru is expected to name more CASs to fill in the gap left in some ministries which she was yet to find a suitable nominee by the time he made the full cabinet announcement.

Outspoken lawyer Donald B Kipkorir said the CAS position in the Cabinet “is a stranger” in the constitution.

“Chief Administrative Secretary is an office messenger between the Cabinet Secretary & the Principal Secretary .. CS is the Minister with Executive Power & PS is the Accounting Officer … CAS, a stranger in the Constitution is a sexy name for Public Servant with No Portfolio,” he said via a tweet on Friday.