Proposed law gives Senate power to vet CBK Governor nominee


Central Bank Governor Dr Kamau Thugge before the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning at Continental House Nairobi on October 24, 2023. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

A nominee for the position of Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will be approved by both the National Assembly and the Senate if proposed changes to the law are accepted.

A newly published Bill says the present CBK Act limits the approval of nominees to the National Assembly, locking out the Senate which represents the interests of the 47 counties.

“The principal object of this Bill is to amend the Central Bank Act to provide that Parliament shall approve the nomination of the Governor of the Central Bank. This amendment is intended to harmonize the approval requirements for the various administrative offices in the Central Bank” the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill, 2024 sponsored by Migori Senator Eddy Oketch says.

“Notably, whereas the Act requires that Parliament approves the nomination of the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Bank and the nomination of the Deputy Governors of the Bank, Section 13 of the Act contemplates that only the National Assembly approves the nomination of the Governor of the Bank.”

The Bill proposes that approval of a nominee to the position of CBK Governor be carried by the bi-cameral Parliament to cover the interest of the devolved administrative units.

“The Senate under Article 96(1) represents the counties and serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments. In considering the suitability of a person nominated to serve as Governor of the Central Bank, the Senate shall take into account the powers of the Governor to determine monetary policy and its effect on the abilities of county governments to discharge their functions under Part 2 of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution,” the Bill says.

“The Bill therefore concerns county governments in terms of Articles 110(1)(a) of the Constitution as it contains provisions that affect the functions and powers of the county governments as set out in the Constitution.”

The nomination of current CBK Governor Kamau Thugee was approved by the National Assembly in June 2023, two months after he was selected by President William Ruto.

The Bill further proposes to assign the offices of the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and the Governor of the Bank as State Offices by Article! 260(q) of the Constitution.

The Bill additionally suggests aligning the Act to the Constitution 2010 and the governance structure of the country.

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