The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has released Sh7.4 billion to support government's efforts towards containing the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, on Friday, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said the money was from the mop-up of the old Sh1,000 banknotes.
“As you recall in September last year we concluded the demonetisation of our currency relating to our old generation Sh1,000 banknotes. That matter was concluded and as a result of that, Sh7.4 billion worth of banknotes never came back to the system.
“That money would have been held by people who, for whatever reason, did not want to subject themselves to the checks that were in place. So most likely this was money that might have been illicitly acquired through the various channels that we have talked about in other forums,” the CBK governor said.
Dr Njoroge said the bank is giving back the money to boost the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
President Kenyatta directed Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani to ensure the money is used to support Kenyans to overcome the health crisis.
“That money goes to help our health facilities and our health workers," the President said.
During the meeting, the President announced a further Sh1 billion allocation by the government for hiring of more health workers needed to increase the country's capacity to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the additional funds will ensure the government brings on board enough manpower to support those already in the field working to save lives.