NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29- The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) board of directors has suspended the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Munir Ahmed and five other top managers accused of mismanagement and questionable transactions.
According the Bank’s board of directors, the six managers will immediately proceed on compulsory leave to give room for an independent internal audit.
They will however be required to comply and make key submissions to the internal audit process.
“We have instituted an internal review of our financial performance and as part of the mentioned tenets, the internal audit process shall be independent hence the request by the board for the six managers to proceed on leave,” Chairman to the Board, Mohamed Hassan said while making the announcement on Tuesday.
The six have been surrounded by numerous accusations including illegal loan disbursements, high number of staff turnover and audit-related queries.
In the interim, the board has appointed Wilfred Musau as acting CEO, who will take over the running of the daily operations of the bank with immediate effect.
“The aforementioned actions by the Board are an unequivocal demonstration of our commitment to strict adherence to corporate governance tenets and the various Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) guidelines,” Hassan added.
In addition to the temporary change at the helm, the board plans to make further appointments albeit, on an acting capacity within 24 hours to fill in the left positions by the other managers.
But the move comes a week after the same board defended the CEO and the management at a press conference especially on high staff exits arguing that it was normal and all was well.
“Anyone making these allegations is malicious and as a bank we take matters of character very seriously and will consider appropriate legal action. We are running a change process and this is expected,” Hassan said on Tuesday last week, only to suspend the same managers a week later.
The bank has been in the spotlight over staff exits under its five-year transformation strategy meant to elevate the lender to a top-tier bank by 2017.
The chairman assured the bank’s customers that the changes will not affect the normal operations of the institution and hence the appointment of the replacement.