Storm over new currency as the matter is headed to court

by GW Reporter

East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Simon Mbugua has filed a petition challenging the issuance of new currency notes unveiled on June 1 during Madaraka Day celebrations in Narok.

The legislator termed the directive aimed at phasing out the sh1000 note as unlawful.

In a petition , Mbugua argues that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) did not involve the public in the printing and unveiling of the notes. He further wants the court to halt CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge’s directive that puts the expiry of the old sh1000 note on October 1 pending the hearing of the case.

The MP’s petition avers the portrait of the first President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, on the notes contravenes the Constitution.

As Mbugua dashed to court, the CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge told those unhappy to meet him in court.

The governor insisted that the design and introduction of new banknotes followed due process and that they are ready to fight those opposed to it in court.

Njoroge dismissed those contesting the inclusion of the country’s founding president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s sculpture, saying that the key feature was the KICC.

The governor spoke at a press briefing on Monday at the CBK offices in Nairobi,

“I have been informed of a legal challenge that has just been filed. We are going to deal with those issues as a matter of priority,” Njoroge said.

He also defended the decision to do away with the old generation Sh1.000 notes, saying that it is not the first time Kenya is doing demonetisation. The new look Kenyan currency notes.

‘We have the power to demonetise. We did it in 2011 with Sh5 notes. This was done as a matter of national security. Illicit financial flows are real,” Njoroge said.

He added that the four-month period given was done to accommodate everyone.

“There is a balance we had to strike. Immediate demonetisation would have been tough on Wanjiku who are dealing in legit business,” Njoroge said.

Senate minority leader and senior counsel, James Orengo also echoed similar sentiments saying the banknotes still contain the portraits of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and thus violated the Constitution.

“As a lawyer, I have to say this, the new notes are unconstitutional because there is the portrait of the Mzee Jomo Kenyatta,” Orengo said while addressing a gathering in Migori County.

Activist Okiya Omtatah also shared the same sentiments, saying the banknote goes against the law and should be rejected.

“It violates the law, and therefore, the new banknotes are null and void. They have no effect in law and must be rejected,” the activist said, adding that he will move to court to overturn the new notes’ directive.

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