alexa New bank notes: Omtatah seeks KICC visit over Kenyatta statue - Daily Nation

New bank notes: Omtatah seeks KICC visit over Kenyatta statue

Wednesday August 14 2019

Jomo Kenyatta statue

The statue of Kenya's founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Activist Okiya Omtatah now wants judges to visit the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi to ascertain whether Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's statue is part of the building.

He is battling inclusion of the founding father's portrait on the new currency notes.

Appearing before a three-judge bench on Wednesday, Mr Omtatah pleaded to be allowed to amend his petition to include the site visit, saying it was necessary.

Justices Anthony Mrima, Kimondo Kanyi and Arsenath Ongeri directed him and other respondents to argue the application on Thursday morning, after which they will make a ruling on the matter.


In his petition, Mr Omtatah accuses Central Bank of Kenya and its Governor Patrick Njoroge of contravening Article 231(4) of the Constitution by retaining the portrait of Kenya’s first President on the new generation currency notes.


Further, Mr Omtatah faults the CBK for acting contrary to Section 34 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution by directing that all the old Sh1,000 notes be withdrawn by October 1.

“The petitioner is aggrieved that contrary to Article 231(4) of the Constitution, which decrees that Kenyan currency bank notes shall not bear the portrait of any individual, each new generation Kenyan currency bank note bears a prominently displayed portrait of the late President Jomo Kenyatta,” he says in the petition.

Similarly, Mr Simon Mbugua, who is former Kamukunji member of Parliament, accuses the CBK of failing to conduct public participation before the new notes were printed.

He said that by putting a picture of Mzee Kenyatta's full statue, which is stands in front of the KICC, on every note, the CBK simply used the architectural masterpiece that is the KICC to sneak the portrait onto the notes.


In reply, the CBK said there was adequate public participation and stakeholder engagement before the notes were printed.

Mr Njoroge said these parties were also involved in the design work and that the petitioners' claims lacked legal basis.

“I believe if Okiya Omtatah were interested in participating in the design process, he [would have done so] from the moment the notices were issued - on March 7, 2012 - until there issuance,” he said.

Regarding the issue of the image used on the notes, the CBK said the features are acceptable and meet the threshold set in the Constitution.

Mr Njoroge added that the notes do not bear the portrait of any individual or that of President Kenyatta as alleged.