Susan Koech: CBK deputy governor nominee says she is ready to serve ahead of vetting by Parliament
Monday February 20 2023
The only hurdle standing in the way of Dr Susan Koech becoming the second deputy governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is Parliament, which has about 14 days to vet and approve her nomination.
Dr Koech was picked for the top job by President William Ruto last week and her name was submitted to Parliament for vetting.
The former Principal Secretary in the ministries of EAC, ASALs and Regional Development and Tourism and Wildlife is expected to face tough questions in Parliament over tenders for the construction of the Kimwarer and Arror dams.
She was initially charged with corruption before being turned into a State witness.
Prosecutors accused top officials including former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich of inflating the cost of building the two dams to Sh63 billion from an original cost of Sh46 billion.
Read: Ruto fixes CBK legal hitch with deputy governor appointment
Dr Koech and former Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge were turned into State witnesses in the prosecution of Mr Rotich.
If approved, her appointment will correct a legal breach that has been repeatedly raised by the Auditor-General.
Dr Koech says she has always been ready to serve.
“I have a passion for results, delivering through people, servant leadership and keeping eye on the ball,” she said.
“Given life’s challenges the clarion call is to remain resilient, reflective and focused amid adversity.”
The lack of a second substantive deputy governor has attracted the attention of the Office of the Auditor-General, which has pushed for the filling of the post or amendments to reduce the number of deputy governor posts.
The law enacted in 2015 demands that the executive team at the CBK be composed of the governor and two deputies.
The Central Bank of Kenya Act, Cap 491 states that there shall be two deputy governors who shall be appointed by the President through a transparent and competitive process and with the approval of Parliament.
While picking her for the job, President Ruto is also seeking to avoid a leadership vacuum at the CBK in June when the terms of the current Governor Patrick Njoroge and his assistant Sheila M’Mbijjewe will end.
The term of CBK chairman Mohammed Nyaoga will also lapse at the same time as that of the governor and Ms M’Mbijjewe.
The two have served for a maximum of eight years after they were first appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in June 2015. Their terms were renewed for another four years in June 2019.
This was despite Ms M’Mbijiwe attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 in March 2018, which in effect should have paved the way for her exit from the bank.
Before joining the public sector, Dr Koech was the Nairobi regional head of KCB Bank.
During her tenure as PS State Department for Wildlife, Dr Koech says she pushed for financial sustainability for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
At EAC, Dr Koech championed the idea of the Jumuiya Market concept that creates common markets at the border points to spur economic activity for women and youth.
The former PS says her strong interpersonal and negotiation skills helped her secure funding for building the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) headquarters in Kisumu.
She recalls championing innovation as a way of improving compliance and driving performance during her time in the banking sector, endearing her to peak performance for all the teams she mentored over the years.
Dr Koech says she acquired invaluable expertise in building profitability through effective strategising, process improvements, and appropriate incentives and training.
“I attribute my career progress over the years, to God’s grace, strong support system from my family, hard work, strong intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, and ability to deliver results through people,” she said.
Read: Rotich loses bid to stop Arror dam scam case
“I aim to bring innovative and culturally appropriate solutions nationwide, working with cross-functional teams to develop solutions that meet organisational needs and drive impact and success,” she says, adding that she has a unique ability to combine technical, administrative and finance skills to create innovative solutions to organisations strategies, “as we face modern and ever-changing challenges.”
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