Kenyans will have to wait for at least six months before they can start using new notes and coins.
The currency will not bear any individual’s portrait to comply the new Constitution.
Although the Constitution provides that the currency in use should not bear any individual’s portrait, this has not been the case due to the controversy surrounding the money-printing contract that had been awarded to international money-printing firm, De La Rue.
Finance minister Njeru Githae said the process to switch from the old to the new currency was ongoing.
“I have received three sets of designs for the new notes from Central Bank of Kenya and we will be seeking Cabinet approval for the same before we comply with provisions of the Constitution,” he said.
Mr Githae said the process of switching to new notes was likely to take at least six months.
According to the Constitution promulgated in August 2010, notes and coins issued by the Central Bank may bear images that depict or symbolise Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but shall not bear the portrait of any individual.
The current notes and coins have the portraits of first President Jomo Kenyatta and his predecessor Daniel arap Moi. Only the Sh40 coins have President Kibaki’s portrait.
The currency-printing contract has been dogged by controversy with the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee raising queries about the multi-billion shilling deal.
The House committee last week blamed Transport minister Amos Kimunya and Central Bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u for the loss of Sh1.8 billion in the De La Rue contract.
The committee last week asked Parliament to sanction the minister and Prof Ndung’u for their role in the loss.
In a report tabled in Parliament, PAC chairman Boni Khalwale says Mr Kimunya and Prof Ndung’u should be held accountable for the loss.
The committee also wants Parliament to approve a resolution that the two are unfit to hold public office.
“For this reason, the joint venture should only proceed upon fulfilment of the following conditions, it must not tie Central Bank of Kenya to signing a 10-year currency printing contract with De La Rue Company,” the report says.