Cheserem puts rogue stockbrokers on notice


By James Anyanzwa

Former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Micah Cheserem has been appointed the new chairman of the beleaguered Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

He replaces Prof Chege Waruingi whose resignation last month still remains a mystery.

Immediately after his appointment, Cheserem warned brokerage institutions and other custodians of public funds to put their act together.

"We are giving notice to stockbrokers and those people dealing with public money that we will be more swift to act," he said.

The change of guard at the authority is part of a series of reforms intended to restore investor confidence in the capital markets, especially the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Announcing the new appointment Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta expressed confidence in Cheserem saying he would apply his wealth of experience in the banking industry to steer through necessary reforms at the badly dented image of the capital markets.

"I am glad to announce that the President has appointed Mr Micah Cheserem to be the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Capital Markets Authority," he told a news conference on Friday.

"During his tenure at CBK, he played a key role in stabilising the banking sector during a very difficult period. I’m confident that he will play a similar role in the capital markets."

About Cheserem

An accountant, Cheserem worked with firms such as Unilever and British American Tobacco before joining the CBK between 1993 and 2001. He is now in horticulture farming.

News of his appointment, however, failed to stir the market resulting into a further drop in the NSE 20-Share Index by 1.5 per cent (40.35 points). The index closed the week at 2,674.15 from the previous day’s 2,714.5.

The Government had announced on Thursday that it was going to dissolve the entire CMA board and form a new one as part of the short-term measures to restore investor confidence in the troubled market.

Uhuru also ordered an immediate disbandment of the Nairobi Stock Exchange and Central Depository and Settlement Corporation boards to send the right signals to investors.

The minister said he would not hesitate to take action against institutions, which fail to comply with the new requirements within the shortest time possible.

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