CONCERN

Public decry low quality of new notes three months later

The cost of printing new-look Kenya currency increased by half to Sh15 billion amid delays and introduction of a new coat of varnish to reduce wear and tear

In Summary
  • I am not  happy with the new notes. I  wish the old ones could be brought back or else they better improve the quality of the material - Kiwiri
  • CBK had assured Kenyans on the new-look notes currency's quality and durability after its launch and even defended the cost for printing
Kenya's new bank notes.
Kenya's new bank notes.
Image: ENOS TECHE

Small Medium Businesses have launched their complaints about the quality of the material used on the 'new currency notes'.

This is coming  just three months after the new generation bank notes were launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 1 during the country's 56th Madaraka Day celebrations in Narok county.

It also comes at a moment when Kenyans are counting at most 36 hours before y old  Sh1000 notes become absolutely obsolete.

CBK had assured Kenyans on the new-look notes currency's quality and durability after its launch and even defended the cost for printing and supplying the money.

De La Rue,bank note printing firm which won the tender to print Kenyan currency in Nairobi,Kenya,had said “it was adding the fresh coat that will see paper money stay longer before getting defaced.

They had also confirmed the “introduction of a new coat of varnish to reduce wear and tear and prolong their life in circulation” as the central Bank governor Patrick Njoroge had said.

While defending the cost,it was supposedly an indication that the new currencies was expected to last beyond June 2022.

The cost of printing new-look Kenya currency  increased by half to Sh15 billion amid delays and introduction of a new coat of varnish to reduce wear and tear.

Even so, traders and members of public say  the reality on the ground is different from what CBK promised them. 

Boniface Kiwiri a cashier at a Naivas Supermarket in Nairobi said they accepted the change of the notes denominations with excitement but now they are not too happy with the change.

“I am not  happy with the new notes. I  wish the old ones could be brought back or else they better improve the quality of the material. I deal with customers everyday and they find the new currency notes to be too light,”Kiwiri said.

“Sometimes changes need to be embraced by Kenyans but truth be told,the new notes hardly last being new before they wear out and tear. One has to be extra careful when getting the money from the pocket especially the hundred and fifty shilling notes,” Bancy Muthoni a food vendor in Nairobi said.

She  added that water is an enemy to the new currency notes since the moment it gets in touch with it there are higher chances of the notes tearing in just a few days or even immediately.

“We are the ones who suffer the most because we deal with the money on a daily basis and from morning to evening. The new notes are frustrating,'' she told the Star.

“Yaani unashika tu hivi,unaangalia kastoma inabidi tu uchukue juu hujui useme nini (you just take the notes from the customers without a word because when you look at the customer,you become speechless,”Dominic Ongware a matatu taut lamented.

His friend Clinton a bus conductor on route 56 added that the a thousand notes are good in quality but perhaps due to its low circulation. He also praised the five hundred shilling notes quality adding that there are fake notes in the market.

Jackson Gathii, a shopkeeper also took out his old and new a hundred shilling notes and told us how the old currency note is likely to last a few years longer before it wears off and tears compared to the new one that will barely last a year.

While old Sh1000 notes will be removed from the financial system at the end of this month, old notes for other lower denominations will continue circulating concurrently with new ones.