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Kenyan central bank governor opposes corruption charges

Nairobi - Kenya’s central bank would maintain monetary policy continuity in the “likely” event that governor Njuguna Ndung’u was suspended over corruption allegations, Eurasia Group said yesterday.

On Tuesday Kenya’s public prosecutor recommended that Ndung’u be prosecuted after the country’s anti-corruption commission said he should be charged in connection with a tender for security software that resulted in a loss of 400 million shillings (R50m) of public funds. Ndung’u said on Wednesday that he did not approve nor award the tender.

Njuguna Ndung'u, the governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. Photo: Bloomberg. Credit: Bloomberg

“Ndung’u is more likely than not to be suspended, despite his move to stay corruption proceedings in court,” Clare Allenson, an associate at the US-based Eurasia research group, said.

His deputy, Haron Sirima, would take over while the case was completed and “would provide policy continuity”, she said.

Ndung’u, 54, is scheduled to step down from his second term as governor next year, having been appointed by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2007. His policies helped reduce inflation in east Africa’s biggest economy to 5.7 percent last year, compared with 9.6 percent in 2012, while economic growth has averaged 4.7 percent over the past five years, Bloomberg and International Monetary Fund data show.

Four of the last six governors of Kenya’s central bank had stepped down prior to completing their terms, Allenson said.

A Kenyan court would hear Ndung’u’s application today to halt his arrest, the Nairobi-based Daily Nation newspaper reported yesterday, citing Justice Mumbi Ngugi. – Bloomberg

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