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Why many Kenyans are unimpressed with newly unveiled bank notes

The unveiling of new Kenyan bank note has been greeted with disapproval from the online community over some of the features of the new legal tender.

Kenyans online have particularly taken exception with the image of a statue of the founding Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, which is predominant in all the new notes.

The new notes, which were unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Madaraka Day at Narok Stadium, bare an image of the iconic Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) and Mzee Kenyatta’s statue found in the middle of the fountain.

Kenyans have however appreciated the smaller sizes of the new notes.

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 states that notes and coins shall not bear the portrait of any individual.

“Notes and coins issued by the CBK may bear images that depict or symbolise Kenya or an aspect of Kenya, but shall not bear the portrait of any individual,” reads Section 231(4) of the Constitution.

Kenyans online are of the view that the statue is a representation of Mzee Kenyatta’s portrait. Lawyer Amollo Otiende even said that the new notes are against the constitution.

Patrick Njoroge just had to sneak the likenesses of Jomo Kenyatta in the #NewGenerationNotes. Isn’t this what the Constitution spells against?


Here are some reaction to the new bank notes from Kenyans on Twitter.

“New bank notes have image of Kenyatta, is that constitutional?” questioned Jose Muraya.

“Nothing new there, you only removed Kenyatta’s portrait and replaced it with his monument,” Otuya Ingabo commented.

“How genius it is to put a picture of KICC that way Jomo still stays on the money without it being said it’s a person’s imprint?,” Nelly Gatwi tweeted.

“You still had to symbolise Kenyatta somewhere. This is against the law!” retorted Felly.

“I still see Kenyatta’s portrait somewhere… I thought this is illegal? Can’t make a decision and stick by it? Were these subjected to public participation?” Mkenya Daima questioned.

“I was hoping that there would be nothing to do with Kenyatta’s image on the new generation currency banknotes,” Sekou Otondi stated.