Ndindi Nyoro, Kiharu Member of Parliament, has defended President William Ruto's controversial appointment of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs).
In an interview on Friday, Nyoro stated that the CAS position, which was recently revoked by the High Court for being unconstitutional, was necessary for the current regime to fulfill its mandate.
He supported President Ruto's plan to have 50 CASs, arguing that their role has been overlooked because Cabinet Secretaries and their Principal Secretaries are occasionally overburdened with tasks and require the CASs to step in.
"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 actually do," he said in an interview with NTV.
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Citing his role as Chair of the National Assembly Budgetary Committee, Nyoro argued that the CSs are stressed because they are required to appear before Parliamentary committees, answer Senate summons, and attend to their day-to-day duties, which he said required ample time to plan and think critically.
"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 actually 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," Nyoro noted.
"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."
Concerning the fact that the country is overburdened in terms of finances and resources that will be required to cater for additional Administrative Secretaries' expenses, Nyoro stated that the country is capable of doing so.
The MP cited the country's wage bill of Ksh.700 billion, claiming that it was more than enough to pay the CASs despite the government's repeated claims that the "public coffers were empty."
"The intention of having CASs is very valid. The wage bill is currently at Ksh.700 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 maintained.
In July of this year, the High Court ruled that President Ruto's appointment of 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries was unconstitutional.
The National Assembly, on the other hand, tabled the National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday, which seeks to reintroduce the CAS position, among other things, and has already passed the first reading.
Religious leaders have since criticized the move to recreate the positions, with the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) saying on Thursday that it is untimely given the current state of the economy.