State should not destroy old Sh1,000 notes after deadline

There are citizens living abroad who cannot make it by the deadline to fly back and exchange them

In Summary

• CBK governor said after the deadline, the old notes would be useless. 

• Most Kenyans prefer the old currency as the new ones look like Charity sweepstake tickets or Chrstmas vouchers. 

The new look Kenyan currency notes
SWEEPSTAKE TICKETS: The new look Kenyan currency notes

Two weeks ago, some Central Bank of Kenya staff, led by the bank’s governor Patrick Njoroge embarked on a countrywide road-show aimed at sensitising the general public on the need to exchange the old Sh1,000 notes with the new ones before the expiry deadline of September 30.

The convoy was first seen in Kwale county then later in Garissa. At every stop, the governor reiterated that there would be no extension of time and those who would not have exchanged the old notes would thereafter consider the old notes as useless litter.

There are many Kenyans, especially in the diaspora who may be unable to travel back home to exchange the old notes they might have kept, due to travelling expenses. Nevertheless, l would like to appeal to such people not to lose hope and destroy the old notes; but instead keep them safely, hoping that a future government might open a window of opportunity to have such notes verified as having been our legal tender and have them exchanged.

l am also sure that if an opinion poll were to be conducted on preference between the old notes and the new ones; only 1 per cent of the urban elite would prefer the new smaller notes. The new notes resemble Kenya Charity Sweepstake tickets or Christmas shopping vouchers some companies give to their staff.

They lack the psychological inspiration for majority Kenyans to work harder in order to pocket the notes. Moreover, the reasons given for the demonetisation of the old Sh1,000 note are not convincing.

The new notes, however, have enhanced features which enable the visually challenged to touch and easily identify them.  We should keep the old notes at least for the sake of remembering part of our past.