Ruto nominates Kamau Thugge to join CBK as governor

When Kamau Thugge appeared before National Assembly Public Accounts Committee in 2018 then as the National Treasury Principal Secretary. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

President William Ruto on Monday set the stage for former National Treasury Secretary Dr Kamau Thugge to be the tenth governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.

President Ruto forwarded his name to Parliament for scrutiny. If approved, Dr Thugge, who is currently serving as senior advisor and head of fiscal and budget policy in the Executive Office of the President will replace Dr Patrick Njoroge, who is serving his second and final four-year term and will exit next month.

“The nomination follows a competitive recruitment process carried out by the Public Service Commission (PSC) pursuant to the provisions of section 13 of the Central Bank of Kenya Act, chapter 491 of the laws of Kenya,” said Head of Public Service Felix Koskei in a statement last evening.

“His Excellency the President has transmitted the nomination to the National Assembly for consideration by the August House in the fulfilment of the legal requirement set out under the Constitution and the CBK act.”

Dr Thugge’s appointment comes as President Ruto patches up the crucial final architecture of the money men and women who will help his administration fix the troubled economy and deliver on his campaign pledges.

Dr Thugge takes over the CBK role amid uncertainty over the country’s fragile economy and inflation outlook. Ballooning inflation, escalating borrowing costs, and a strong dollar have made repaying sovereign loans and raising money significantly more expensive for Kenya amid fears of default.

Cash shortage

The cash shortage has seen the government struggle to pay civil servants and disburse county government obligations.

The shilling has weakened against the dollar, piling further pressure on Kenyans enduring a high cost of living crisis that has plunged many into poverty and fuelled political unrest.

President Ruto in March appointed Susan Jemtai Koech as the new Deputy Governor of the CBK. Thugge is among a group of economists and experienced technocrats who had earlier been appointed by Ruto to help steer the battered economy and implement the bottom-up economic model touted by the ruling Kenya Kwanza administration as the panacea to the country’s economic woes.

Analysts told The Standard earlier that the new CBK boss will require long-term experience to effectively steer monetary policy in an economy battered by the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising food and fuel prices fuelled by the war in Ukraine and soaring public debt.

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