Another Reason Prof. Njuguna Ndungu Should Be Sacked

Another reason Prof. Njuguna Ndungu should be sacked:

Apart from failing to inspire confidence in the financial sector that the Central Bank can stabilize the Kenyan shilling there is another reason for Prof. Njuguna Ndungu to leave office as Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.  He is clearly debarred from continuing in office under Chapter 6 of the Constitution having been found guilty of lying to the public and official institutions about the notorious sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.

The Cockar Report prepared after the hearings by the Commission of Inquiry into the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel makes damning findings regarding the conduct of high ranking public officers including the former Minister of Finance and the current Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.  The Cockar Report “finds the entire transaction tainted with misrepresentation and deception to such an extent as to warrant specialised investigation by the Attorney General and other relevant institutions into the bona fides of the purchaser and other aspects of the transaction.”  3 years have now passed since President Kibaki received this report and no action has been taken against the public officers, not least against the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya whose contract was extended in March 2011.   Kenyans are unaware of any attempt by Kenya’s investigative bodies taken any action to ascertain the bona fides of the purchaser as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry.

Kenya’s Ministry of Finance did not give evidence before the Cockar Commission despite its subject matter being intrinsically linked to the Goldenberg scandal which emanated from within Treasury during the early 1990s.  One of the persons named in Gazette Notice No.6217, former Minister for Finance, Hon. Amos Kimunya, chose at the last moment not to appear before the Commission to give evidence. When the Commission was informed on 20th September, 2008, that he would not be appearing, it opted to summon the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury to give evidence on the Treasury’s role in the sale of the Grand Regency. Unfortunately the Commission was informed that the Permanent Secretary, who was a member of Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Kenya, Mr. Joseph Kinyua was at that time out of the country and was not expected to return before the 17th October, 2008, or thereabouts. Treasury therefore did not appear before the Commission. 102 exhibits were considered in compiling the final report.  The proceedings run over 9,000 pages.

The Governor of the Central Bank was indicted in the final report of the Commission of Inquiry.  The Cockar report states that –

“Prof Njuguna Ndungu was not truthful to other public institutions, namely the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, the Commissioner for Lands, the Public Procurement Oversight Authority and the Prime Minister about the sale of the Hotel. Even the valuers who were instructed to value the hotel were not told the purpose for which the valuation was being undertaken. At CBK Prof Njuguna Ndungu and Mr. Abuga were solely responsible for the disposal of the Hotel. Prof Njuguna Ndungu’s conduct was contrary to S 18 of the Public Officer Ethics Act which provides “A public officer shall not knowingly give false or misleading information to members of the public or to any other pubic officer”. Prof Njuguna Ndungu, must take responsibility for the disposal of the Grand Regency hotel in a secretive and questionable manner.”

It goes further to report that Prof. Ndungu compelled a subordinate to also violate the law –

Mr. Kennedy Kaunda Abuga acted in concert with the Governor Prof.  Njuguna Ndungu to rush the sale of the Hotel while at the same time keeping it a close secret. Kennedy Abuga was only too willing to carry out all the wishes of the Governor Prof Njuguna Ndungu relating to the disposal of the Hotel without offering independent professional opinion. Kennedy Abuga’s conduct was also contrary to S 18 of the Public Officer Ethics Act.”

Why is Prof. Ndungu still in office?  What confidence can he really inspire?

You can download the Cockar Commission Report here