HARD TIMES

Banks should be allowed to exchange old Sh1,000 notes

Some people were unable to beat the deadline for doing so last year

In Summary

• Some elderly, people in very interior areas and sick and those abroad did not all beat the deadline to exchange the notes last year.

• Others are abroad on treatment and could not make the cost of flying back to the country to exchange the notes then fly back abroad.  

Kenya old currency notes.
CURRENCY ROLLOUT: Kenya old currency notes.
Image: FILE

It has been reported elsewhere that a cartel is making a killing by sneaking old Sh1,000 currency notes to some banks with the help of shadowy insiders. It is alleged that if one delivers Sh1 million in the old notes and are given Sh500,000 in the new currency. 

The remainder greases the palms of the racketeers. The operation is carried out by people believed to enjoy connections in high places and has been going on since the old Sh1,000 mop up ended last year. 

It is not clear whether the Central Bank of Kenya is aware of the racket or the measures it is taking to curb it. However, l would suggest that, in order to eradicate the vice, the government orders commercial banks to resume exchanging the old Sh1,000 with new ones.

 

The aged, people in very interior areas and sick and those abroad did not all beat the deadline to exchange the notes last year. Some had saved a lot of money in their houses planning to start a business. Others are abroad on treatment and could not make the cost of flying back to the country to exchange the notes then fly back abroad. 

A government that takes care of all its citizens should be magnanimous and allow such people to exchange their old currency or compensate them instead of leaving them mourning over the useless money the demonetisation excise has left with them. 

 

Mombasa