Susan Koech approved as Deputy Governor of CBK

The Finance and Planning Committee of parliament on Tuesday approved the appointment of Susan Jemutai Koech as the new deputy governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

Koech’s appointment was confirmed after she met all the requirements for the position. This approval will enable the CBK to comply with the 2015 law that requires the bank’s executive team to be composed of a governor and two deputies.

The hiring of a second deputy governor will also avoid a leadership vacuum at the CBK in June, when Governor Patrick Njoroge and his sole assistant, Sheila M’Mbijjewe, end their last term after serving the maximum of eight years.

Koech, who holds a doctorate in business administration from Moi University, previously served as the Nairobi regional head at KCB Group.

During her approval hearings, Koech advocated for the reintroduction of a law capping interest rates to reduce the cost of loans. She also expressed her vision of overseeing the acquisition and mergers of banks and putting in place a functional and vibrant interbank forex market.

“The current interbank foreign exchange market had collapsed, and my vision is to put in place a functional and vibrant interbank forex market. Right now, it is not working,” said Koech.

Ten candidates had been shortlisted for the position, including former National Bank of Kenya boss Munir Ahmed and former Capital Markets Authority CEO Paul Muthaura.

However, the lack of a second substantive deputy governor has attracted the attention of the Office of the Auditor-General, which has called for the post to be filled or the number of deputy governor posts to be reduced.

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

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

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

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