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CJ Maraga appoints three judges to hear case challenging Kenyatta’s image on new currency

Chief Justice David Maraga. /COURTESY

BY GAD OTEBA

Chief Justice David Maraga has formed a three bench judge to hear and determine the case seeking removal of an image of Kenya’s founding president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta from the new generation currency notes.

Maraga has appointed judges George Kanyi Kimondo, Anthony Charo Murima and Lady Justice Asenath Nyaboke Ongeri to handle the case.

“The Chief Justice has empanelled a bench of the following three High Court Judges to hear and determine the said petition,” court heard yesterday.

The new currency is already in circulation.

Activist Okiya Omtatah and former Kamukunji Member of Parliament and current lawmaker at the East African Assembly, Simon Mbugua, moved to court while seeking the removal of Kenya’s founding President’s image from the new currency notes.

They both reckon the Constitution bars the use of image of an individual and want the court to stop the circulation of the new notes that were introduced on June 1.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is accused of sneaking the statue of the late President erected in front of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre into the notes.

CBK has however maintained that it followed the law when printing the new notes insisting that the portrait being challenged is a Statue.

The regulator in defence say there was wide public participation and stakeholder engagement that led to imagery of the new currency.

The older Sh1,000 note will be withdrawn by October 1 to tackle illicit financial flows and counterfeiting.

The older versions of smaller denominations, however, will remain in circulation alongside the new ones.

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