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Prof Ndungu gets support for CBK job

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Campaigns for the renewal of Prof Njuguna Ndung’u’s tenure as Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) have picked up from a number of sectors, as he nears the end of his term on March 4.

The Treasury has backed the re-appointment of Prof Ndung’u crediting him with transforming and stabilising the country’s financial sector.

Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua said the career economist should be given another crack of steering the direction of monetary policy.

Mr Kinyua said all indications were that Prof Ndung’u should be given another term.

“Has he not performed well? Then why not?” the PS said declining to give any further comment on the issue. Prof Ndung’u has been at the helm of the CBK since March 2007.

He replaced Andrew Mulei who was suspended and subsequently fired for cases touching on abuse of office during his term.

Prof Ndungu is credited with positively managing monetary policy as well as keeping inflation within range.

In 2007, when he took charge of the CBK, the Central Bank base lending rate was at 10 percent. This at the time was considered too high and the main hindrance towards lending and allowing financial access.

During his tenure however, Prof Ndung’u through the Monetary Policy Committee has managed to lower that to 5.75 percent as of January.

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The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) however wants the appointment to be made competitive and transparent.

“As a private sector we believe in an open recruitment process where you have open advertising, shortlist the people you want, present them and then decide who should be taken on board and this what we believe should be taken on board,” KEPSA Chairman Patrick Obath said on the issue.

Mr Obath said the CBK Governor had achieved much during his tenure, but with the current political situation in the country over nominations, it would be important to remove any cloud of suspicion over his re-appointment.

“The issue of partisan politics will be taken out of the equation, the involvement of the mwananchi will come in and the accusations and counter accusations that come up will be eliminated,” Mr Obath said.

A CBK Governor’s appointment is normally the prerogative of the President, but with all the politics surrounding appointments in the country, it will be interesting to see how the recruitment process will pan out.

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