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New banknotes shouldn’t bear Kenyatta’s image – ODM

Minority leader John Mbadi at press conference in Parliament on September 13, 2018.

In Summary
• Mbadi wants CBK to ensure that the notes are replaced with the printed ones as they circulate.
• The High Court on Tuesday referred Okiya Omtatah case challenging new currency notes to the Chief Justice to set up a bench to hear the matter.

ODM party chairman John Mbadi has said the party fully supports the new banknotes launched by the Central Bank of Kenya.

However, Mbadi said the party is against the notes bearing a portrait image of an individual.

Addressing the press on Tuesday from Parliament buildings, Mbadi said the new generation notes that have the image of the first President Jomo Kenyatta violated the Constitution.

“Even the current notes bear Moi and Kenyatta’s images. The KICC statue is still a portrait. It was not proper but we balance that with economic situation and corruption. The ones that have been printed can be used but the new notes should comply with the law during the next printing,” Mbadi said.

Mbadi said CBK should also backdate the deadline for exchange of the older notes for newer ones from October 1 to August 1, 2019.

The National Assembly Minority Leader asked governors to reconsider and backdate the exchange to August 1 to deny room for people handling illicit money to clean the bills.

He urged ODM party members to stop issuing contradictory statements on the new notes and instead focus on the upcoming referendum.
His statement comes after the issuance of the new notes have been challenged in court.

Activist Okiya Omtatah and East African Legislative Assembly MP Simon Mbugua have in separate petitions moved to court in a bid to block the circulation of the new currency notes.

The High Court on Tuesday referred Omtatah’s case to the Chief Justice to set up a bench to hear the matter.

Justice Weldon Korir says the matters raised in the petition raise substantial questions of law and were weighty.

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge on Monday insisted that the design and introduction of new banknotes followed due process and that they are ready to fight those opposed to it in court.

He dismissed those contesting the inclusion of the founding president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s sculpture, saying that the key feature was the KICC.

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