Kenya launches new notes as fight against graft goes a notch higher

by David Karani

The war against official corruption went a notch higher during the 56th Madaraka Day celebrations with the the current one thousand shilling notes declared obsolete effective November 1, 2019.

This follows the launch of new generation bank notes by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the celebrations in Narok today, Saturday.

The new currency notes will be in denominations of Sh50, Sh100, Sh200, Sh500 and Sh1000.

The launch of the new legal tender followed two policy directions by President Kenyatta on government payments and the clearance of all imported goods.

Ultimately, the new directive means that all government suppliers will have to be paid before the phase out on the old currency notes.

The President also directed the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority and the Kenya Bureau of Standards not to inspect goods that have been cleared by their respective agents in their points of origin.

“All accounting officers in the national government should ensure that all pending bills that do not have audit queries are paid promptly and on priority basis before the end of this year. The county governments should also fallow suit,” President Kenyatta said.

He also directed the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority and the Kenya Bureau of Standards not to inspect goods that have been cleared by their respective agents in their points of origin.

The Central Bank of Kenya Governor Prof Patrick Njoroge said the Sh50, Sh100, Sh200 and Sh500 notes will be phased out gradually.

According to the CBK governor, the immediate phase out of the Sh1000 note will help in dealing with cases of counterfeits, which has impacted the economy negatively.

Fears abound that the looters of public coffers have created safes in their houses where they hide the monies and therefore curtailing circulation in the market. This means that that the government has to use a lot of resources to print new money.

The new notes were issued on Friday through a gazette notice after the completion of the process that saw Kenyans present their views to CBK on how the new bank notes should look like.

They all bear the iconic image of Kenyatta International Convention Centre on their faces and embody the country’s wildlife diversity- like the buffalo, the lion, elephant, rhino and the giraffe. The notes also have more than two security features- the seal plus paper differentiation.

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