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Kenya’s Parliament to Debate Bid to Remove Central Bank Governor

Kenya’s Parliament may decide as early as today on a date to debate lawmakers’ bid to remove central bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u from his post.

The house business committee is set to meet to discuss Parliament’s agenda for next week, Adan Keynan, chairman of the panel of lawmakers that made the recommendation, said in a phone interview from Nairobi, the capital.

A panel of lawmakers set up to study the shilling’s drop to a record low of 106.75 per dollar on Oct. 11 wants President Mwai Kibaki to form a tribunal to investigate whether Ndung’u’s actions contributed to the currency’s slump, according to the committee’s report presented to Parliament on Feb. 14. Ndung’u, who should vacate his post during the probe, didn’t “react in good time” to the shilling’s decline, resulting in a hoarding of foreign currency and speculative trading, the panel said.

Samson Burgei, a spokesman for the Central Bank of Kenya, declined to comment when called on his mobile phone today.

Ndung’u, a 52-year-old former economics professor at the University of Nairobi, was re-appointed for a second, four-year term as governor of the central bank in March 2011. The shilling has gained 25 percent against the dollar since a record low as the central bank increased its benchmark interest rate by 11 percentage points to a record 18 percent.

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