‘If it comes, it comes’ – CBK Governor dismisses queries on his succession


‘If it comes, it comes’ - CBK Governor dismisses queries on his succession
CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge adresses a news conference at the Central Bank's buildings on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 PHOTO | CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • Questions on the succession of Patrick Njoroge have remained prevalent in recent weeks, this as the President who makes the CBK chief appointing authority remains mum three weeks to the lapse of contract.
  • Patrick Njoroge was appointed CBK Governor in June of 2015 as a replacement for the Njuguna Ndungu on a four year contract.
  • Assessing his four year stint, Governor Njoroge summarized his tenure as the very head and tails defining the course of his stay but insisted of the need to focus on the deliverables amidst the transition audit.

Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge has shrugged off queries around his tenure which is set to end on June 19 this year.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Njoroge took refuge in the seat’s security of tenure to pass the buck of queries to the appointing authority represented by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Whether I’m likely to stay in office after June, I would ask you to direct the question to the appointing authority. I would think any speculation leads us nowhere,” Governor Njoroge told journalists.

“If it comes, it comes, this is the typical Kenyan answer, and you cannot worry about things you cannot change. I only worry things I could country. Speculation only raises your pressure levels. I could spend the whole day next to the phone waiting for a call, that doesn’t help, let me get the work done. Even if I have to walk away from the job, it is not the end of the world,” he added.

Questions on the succession of Patrick Njoroge have remained prevalent in recent weeks, this as the President who makes the CBK chief appointing authority remains mum three weeks to the lapse of contract.

Patrick Njoroge was appointed CBK Governor in June 2015 as a replacement for Prof. Njuguna Ndungu on a four-year contract.

Njoroge’s tenure has until now been a tale of two sides of a coin representing both the good and the bad.

The good side has featured the strengthening of regulations in the financial sector to include the tightening of anti-money laundering laws.

On the flip-side, the challenging aspects to the tenure came in early represented mainly by the back-to-back collapse of Dubai and Chase Bank in late 2015 and the eventual demise of Imperial Bank in 2016.

Governor Njoroge has meanwhile made enemies among Members of Parliament who have most recently accused him of policing the financial sector outside the bounds of existing regulations, with the legislators threatening earlier in the year to oppose an extension of the governor’s term.

At the center of the spate has been the governor’s failure to publish banking regulations prescribing customer deposits and withdrawals following amendments to the 2018 Financial Act.

Njoroge has in the inter-mediating time bowed down to pressure from legislators to agree to the publishing of the essential regulations.

Assessing his four-year stint, Governor Njoroge summarised his tenure as the very head and tails defining the course of his stay but insisted on the need to focus on the deliverables amidst the transition audit.

“There have been many successes, failures and sleepless nights. This is however not the time to have a reappraisal of what has happened but a period to deliver on what needs to be done,” he said.

The Governor is keen to deliver on a fresh reporting framework for Credit Referencing Bureaus (CRBs) and fast track the release of new generation notes at-least in the short term.

While the governor holds a business as usual stance, speculation on his succession is expected to hold in the run up to the June 19 deadline.

This as the lender’s board stares at a possible leadership crisis as terms for Deputy Governor Sheila M’Mbijjewe and board chairman Mohammed Nyaoga lapse on the same day.

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