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Take action against those sabotaging the shilling

Last month the shilling hit 119 against the dollar. [Istockphoto]

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge has said the recent decline of the Kenya shilling was artificially engineered during the general election.

Dr Njoroge said certain individuals likened the scheme that led to the fall of the shilling to Goldenberg scandal, in reference to the 1993 scam that cost taxpayers billions of shillings and pushed the country's inflation past 100 per cent.

Last month the shilling hit 119 against the dollar, a 15-month low in a sustained drop that has heavily impacted the cost of both imports and manufactured goods sold in the country. 

The fact that 30 years later, wealthy individuals and rogue institutions can still use dodgy schemes to manipulate the local currency at the expense of the country and economy is worrying to say the least.

The CBK governor has in previous briefings blamed the currency performance on global factors such as the US fiscal policy and the war in Ukraine.

His admission that part of the crisis was artificially created is a loud indictment on the regulator's capacity to rein in rogue traders and financial institutions.

With a new government, there has been a lot of speculation on whether Kenya will see a drastic shift in fiscal and monetary policy to address pressing economic challenges affecting the daily lives of millions of Kenyans.

Already there is talk of clawing back some important legislation such as requirements for financial institutions to report any transactions above Sh1 million.

As a regulator the CBK has discharged its role by flagging a significant threat to the economy whose impact has translated into economic misery for millions of Kenyans and small businesses.

It is the duty of the government, through its various organs and institutions, to ensure that adequate safeguards are kept in place to protect the wider economy from rogue wealthy individuals and institutions whose primary motivation is to accumulate more wealth at whatever cost.