By Seth Onyango @SethManex
New generation bank notes have gone into circulation as the Central Bank of Kenya aims to curb corruption and illicit financial flows.
In an unprecedented move, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge announced the current generation of Sh 1,000 notes in circulation will cease to be legal tender in October 1.
President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled the new bills during the Madaraka Day celebrations in Narok yesterday — with sources intimating to People Daily, the move is part of a wide bid by his administration to contain money laundering.
Kenyans have also exuded confidence the abrupt demonetisation of existing banknotes, especially the Sh1,000 denominations will help wipe out ill-gotten money perceived to be warehoused in private residences.
Yesterday, CBK boss warned that people have 120 days bank the notes or risk them being obsolete.
“We have assessed the grave concern that our large bank notes, particularly the older Sh1,000 series, are being used for illicit financial flaws in Kenya and also other countries in the region. To deal with those concerns, all the older Sh1,000 series shall be withdrawn by a Gazette Notice dated May 31, 2019, all persons have until October 1, 2019 to exchange those notes, after which the older Sh1,000 bank notes will cease to be legal tender,” he warned.
“More recently we have seen the emergence of some counterfeits. These are grave concerns that would jeopardise proper transactions and the conduct of commerce in our currency.”
The 2010 constitution mandated the CBK to come up with a framework for production and roll out of the new bank notes.
It prohibited the use of a person’s portrait on currencies but instead have images that promote national values.
Consequently, all the notes unveiled yesterday will bear images of the iconic Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) and a statue of the founding President Jomo Kenyatta.
The Sh1000 and Sh500 Bill is will bears images promoting tourism, the 200 social services while the sh100 and Sh50 will symbolise agriculture and green energy respectively.
Kenyans were quick to hail the move asserting it was long over, the best panacea for corrupt money being hidden by individuals.
Political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi praised the move, arguing those with ill-gotten wealth will soon be nabbed.
“Instead of ARRESTING thieves, UHURU has OUTWITTED them. By changing our CURRENCY, the GUY who withdrew 4 Billion shillings from a WESTLANDS bank in cash has 120 days to SPEND it or BANK it. He has to SPEND 33 million a DAY for the NEXT 4 Months or 4 Million an Hour! “Ksh 1000”, he tweeted.
Instead of ARRESTING thieves, UHURU has OUTWITTED them. By changing our CURRENCY, the GUY who withdrew 4 Billion shillings from a WESTLANDS bank in cash has 120 days to SPEND it or BANK it. He has to SPEND 33 million a DAY for the NEXT 4 Months or 4 Million an Hour! "Ksh 1000"
— Mutahi Ngunyi (@MutahiNgunyi) June 1, 2019