President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated Dr. Patrick Patrick Ngugi Njoroge as the next central bank governor ending months of speculation and intrigues in one of the most coveted public jobs in Kenya. Also appointed are Dr Haron Sirma (acting governor) and Sheila Mbijjiwe as his Deputies.
Ms Mbijjiwe sat on the Monetary Policy Committee of the bank.
The surprise nomination for the governor is yet to sink for a number of local industry big shots who were initially touted as possible replacements of the retired Prof Njuguna Ndung’u.
Previously, Dr Mbui Wagacha, who has been acting as the CBK chairman since February 2013, when legislative changes were made to the Central Bank of Kenya Act, had been seen as front runner.
“Dr Wagacha is a renowned macro-economist and policy expert with experience spanning over 20 years, having consulted for the Association of African Central Banks, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, among others”, wrote Daily Nation.
Dr Haron Sirma, the Deputy Governor, who acted briefly as governor when Prof. Ndung’u retired, was also seen as possible candidate. He remains Deputy. Sirma has been working for 28 years at the Central Bank and rose through the ranks to the deputy position where it appears the ‘ethnic ceilling’ is too strong to break.
National Treasury principal secretary Dr Kamau Thugge also failed to clinch the job, so was former PWC Phillip Kinisu. Thugge and Kinisu had been prominently mentioned, considering they percieved closeness to the powers that be.
Trade Mark East Africa country director Chris Kiptoo, Commercial Bank of Africa Group CEO Isaac Awuondo and Vivienne Yeda Apopo also failed the mettle. Apopo has been a non-executive director of the CBK board since 2011.
Other big names who had been rumoured for the position included Â Konza Technopolis Development Authority chair John Ngumi,Â former CBK deputy governor Dr. Edward Sambili and Mwangi Kimenyi of Brookings Institution.
The successful appointee will serve for a single term of six years as opposed to the current regime where one can serve two terms of four years each.