Kenyans have until October 31 to discard the current change one thousand shilling notes following the launch of the new generation bank notes by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 56th Madaraka Day celebrations in Narok on June 1, 2019.
The new currency notes will be in Sh50, Sh100, Sh200, Sh500 and Sh1000 denominations.
The launch followed two policy directions by President Kenyatta on government payments and the clearance of all imported goods.
This means that all government suppliers will have to be paid before the phase out on the old currency notes.
“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.
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.
However, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Prof Patrick Njoroge said that the Sh50, Sh100, Sh200 and Sh500 notes will be phased out slowly.
“The emergence of counterfeits has become a great concern. All the Sh1000 notes were withdrawn by a gazette notice on Friday. Those in possession [of the bank notes] have until October 31, 2019 to release them,” said Prof Njoroge who urged Kenyans to have the notes changed.
The immediate phase out of the Sh1000 note, according to Dr Njoroge, will help in dealing with cases of counterfeits, which has impacted the economy negatively. Bad elements in the society have often used fake money in 1000 notes to hoodwink unsuspecting Kenyans.
But even as the government makes the decision, the launch will also go a long way in helping deal with wanton embezzlement of public funds as well as money laundering.
It will also help in enhancing liquidity in the financial sector by encouraging those who had embraced pillow banking due to uncertainty in the banking brought about by collapsing of banks, to return their money in circulation.
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.
All the notes bear the iconic image of Kenyatta International Convention Centre on their faces and embody the country’s wildlife diversity- the buffalo, the lion, elephant, rhino and the giraffe. They also embody green energy, tourism and governance, what the CBK boss termed as the drivers of new Kenya.
“The launch of the new notes underscores the fact that the history of CBK is intertwined with the history of Kenya.
The new bank notes, samples of which with identical serial numbers A00001 were handed to the president have more than two security features- the seal plus paper differentiation.
It’s also friendly to those with vision impairment as they have specific lines on the sides for easy identification.