Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) deputy governor Sheila M’Mbijjewe last Wednesday attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years, paving the way for her exit from public office.

Ms M’Mbijjewe, a UK trained accountant, has been deputy governor since August 4, 2015.

The CBK governor and deputy serve for a four-year term that is renewable once.

But civil servants are mandated by law to exit office after attaining the age of 60.


The CBK did not respond to queries on Ms M’Mbijjewe’s impending retirement.

“Retirement age is 60 in public service. However, one can work on contract with approval of the board and cabinet secretary after 60 if they have specialised scarce skills,” former Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson Margaret Kobia said in February last year.

A long-serving corporate executive, Ms M’Mbijjewe has in her decades-long career served as a director in dozens of blue chip companies in the country.

She was born on March 6, 1958, according to the National Assembly’s Hansard and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounts from Kingston University in England. Her tenure, jointly with that of CBK governor Patrick Njoroge, has spawned the emergence of a new order for financial institutions in Kenya.

Ms M’Mbijjewe said in 2016 that increased access to financial services had helped address poverty in Kenya. “We have 75 per cent financial inclusion, which means 90 per cent of Kenyans are within three kilometres of a financial access point,” she said.

But it was also during her tenure that three banks, Dubai, Imperial and Chase, collapsed in a row prompting concerns among savers as to whether their hard-earned cash was safe.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to fill a number of positions in key State agencies, whose heads are either serving in acting capacity or nearing expiry of their terms upon attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.

The list includes the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), where commissioner-general John Njiraini’s second term as chief tax collector came to an on March 3 – three months after he hit the retirement age of 60 last December. Mr Njiraini is embroiled in a court battle with activist Okiya Omtatah over his continued stay at the helm of the agency.

Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) is also expected to fill the vacant CEO’s position while the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is yet to pick a substantive managing trustee, a position that is currently held by Anthony Omerikwa in an acting capacity.

The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) is also expected to pick a substantive head nearly a year after Godfrey Kiptum was appointed acting commissioner following the exit of long serving chief executive Sammy Makove.

The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) is also expected to appoint a substantive replacement for long-serving CEO Edward Odundo. Nzomo Mutuku was from April 1 last year appointed as the acting CEO.

The list of agencies expected to pick substantive heads includes Kenya Industrial Research Institute (Kirdi), National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority, ICT Authority, Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), among others.