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EALA MP Mbugua, Activist Omtatah in court to challenge new currency

EALA MP Simon Mbugua/COURTESY

New generation notes were unveiled on June, 1 during Madaraka Day celebrations.

By Mkarimu Media

EALA Member of Parliament Simon Mbugua on Monday filed a case seeking orders to bar adoption of new generation currency.

Mbugua claims that the use of Jomo Kenyatta’s image violates the constitution.

The lawmaker argues that the Central Bank of Kenya did not involve the public in the printing and unveiling of the new currencies.

He wants the court to issue orders stopping the implementation of the new currencies pending the hearing of the case.

The MP also says the portrait of the first President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, on the notes contravenes the Constitution.

In another similar move, activist Okiya Omtatah is set to challenge the same move.

Omtatah has given a number of reasons why the new currency notes should be considered null and void.

Article 231(4) states, “Notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of Kenya may bear images that depict or symbolize Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but shall not bear the portrait of any individual.”

The front face of the new currency notes embodies the big 5 of Kenya which include the rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion and the leopard.

Activist Okiya Omtatah/COURTESY

At the back of the notes is the Kenyatta International Convention Center plus the statue of the founding father of the nation, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta which many have raised concerns about.

Speaking to the media about his petition, Omtatah postulates that the statue should not be included in the new currency notes as the constitution stipulates.

He also states that there was no public participation as requested by the law in the entire process.

In addition to these two reasons, the seasoned litigant also quotes Section 34 of the Sixth Schedule that provides no grounds for invalidation of the old currency notes. The section states:

“Nothing in Article 231(4) affects the validity of coins and notes issued before the effective date.”
He is set to file his case on Monday.

However, in the revised 2014 Central Bank of Kenya Act, Cap 491, Part IV, section 22, there are provisions that make it possible for the Central Bank to withdraw the current notes from the public within a set time frame and give the date with which the notes and coins will cease to be legal tender.

“A notice published in the Gazette, and in such a manner as the Bank considers likely to bring that notice to the attention of the public shall specify the issues and the denominations forming part of the issues,of notes or coins that are to be withdrawn, the places where those notes or coins may be taken for exchange, and the date on which those notes or coins shall cease to be legal tender.”

Source: Mkarimu Media and News Agencies