Ruto pick for Central Bank second governor job gets Parliament nod


Central Bank of Kenya Deputy Governor, Dr Susan Koech on February 28, 2023. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

A parliamentary committee has approved the appointment of Susan Jemutai Koech as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The Finance and Planning Committee said Dr Koech met all the requirements for appointment as the second deputy governor.

“The committee recommends that the House approves the appointment of Dr Susan Koech as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Kenya,” said the committee in a report tabled in Parliament last evening.

The hiring of the second deputy governor will correct a legal breach that has been repeatedly raised by the Auditor-General.

The law enacted in 2015 demands that the executive team at the CBK be composed of the governor and two deputies.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta ignored calls for the CBK to have two deputy governors during his nearly 10-year tenure.

The appointment of the second CBK governor is also aimed at avoiding a leadership vacuum at the CBK in June when governor Patrick Njoroge and his sole assistant Sheila M’Mbijjewe will end their last term after serving the maximum of eight years.

Dr Koech, who holds a doctorate in business administration from Moi University, was the Nairobi regional head at KCB Group before making the switch to government corridors.

When she appeared before the vetting panel last week, Dr Koech asked MPs to bring back a law capping interest rates to bring down the cost of loans.

Dr Koech also told lawmakers that the current interbank foreign exchange market had collapsed and that her vision is to put in place a functional and vibrant interbank forex market, bring down the cost of credit and oversee the acquisition and mergers of banks.

“I want to see a functional and vibrant interbank forex market. Right now, it is not working,” said Dr Koech during her approval hearings.

The muted interbank forex market has been partly blamed for the dollar shortage that has seen some banks run out of the greenback in some days.

Ten candidates had been shortlisted for the vacant position in recruitment shepherded by the Public Service Commission.

They included Higher Loans Education Board CEO Charles Ringera, former National Bank of Kenya boss Munir Ahmed, former Capital Markets Authority chief executive Paul Muthaura and Gerald Nyaoma, director of bank supervision at the CBK.

Others were former Kenya Ports Authority head of audit Fredrick Oyugi, former director of the CBK currency department James Lopoyetum and Rose Ngugi, executive director of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis.

The lack of a second substantive deputy governor has attracted the attention of the Office of the Auditor-General, which has pushed for the filling of the post or amendments to reduce the number of deputy governor posts.

Ms M’Mbijjewe has been the CBK’s only deputy governor since June 2015 and was reappointed for a final four-year stint which runs concurrently with that of Dr Njoroge until June 17.

The country briefly had two deputy governors in 2015 when Ms M’Mbijjewe served together with Haron Sirima, who quit the CBK in October 2015.

Dr Sirima served as the assistant of Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, whose term as CBK governor lapsed in March 2015.

He was considered the natural successor to Prof Ndung’u, who Dr Ruto appointed as Treasury Cabinet secretary.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.