Kenya to issue new banknotes in battle against corruption

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Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced the country will introduce a new generation of banknotes in an effort to curb corruption.

The measure aims to tackle illicit financial flows within the East African nation by replacing large banknotes commonly used in money laundering, counterfeits and other forms of corruption.

Kenya to issue new banknotes

President Kenyatta has often been accused of reacting too slowly to corruption during his time in charge but his latest move aims to tackle the issue at the currency level. Kenyans have been told they must return their 1,000 shilling notes ($10) to banks by October 1 with replacement notes being issues over the coming months.

The new note will feature the image of a statue of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru Kenyatta’s father. The design has prompted criticism from some within Kenya while the move to replace notes is also being challenged in the courts by opposition lawmakers.

The 1,000 shilling note is the highest-value note in Kenya’s currency, meaning it is the most commonly used note in cases of money laundering, counterfeits and various other kinds of corruption. The notes will be replaced by new versions over a four-month transition period, during which time Kenyans are required to hand over their old notes.

People exchanging less than five million shillings can do so at their local banks but anyone looking to exchange higher volumes will need approval from Kenya’s central bank.

Featured image: By Ephymbaya – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55117723

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.