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New design for currency with no Kenyatta, Moi portraits to be released

The Central Bank of Kenya will next week release details of the planned release of new currency.

The move as required by the Constitution delayed missing the set deadline of September 1, 2015, triggering speculating that the government may have had a change of mind on the plan.

Article 231(4) of the Constitution bars the use of portraits or images of individuals on currency, stating that notes and coins should only bear images that depict or symbolise an aspect of Kenya. The notes in circulation currently violate this rule.

“There will be a press conference next week and an update on this will be provided,” CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said on Thursday on the sidelines of the 4th Kenya Bankers Association Annual Banking Research Conference refusing to divulge further details.

Earlier in the week, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said that the process for the launch of the new currency had been set in motion and was nearing completion.

The new currency is expected to be in notes of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings.


Their introduction will be accompanied by a massive public campaign to sensitise the public.

This will be followed by the subsequent withdrawal of the current currency in phases.

In 2012, CBK sought a new image for the local currency notes and coins, in adherence to the Constitution.

The regulator had called for proposals on designs whose themes reflect a new chapter in Kenya’s history in line with the law, and to depict the country’s prosperity as outlined in Vision 2030.

The last new denomination and currency design was the Sh40 coin in 2003 which has a portrait of retired president Kibaki.

CBK began printing Kenyan bank notes in 1966 under the mandate given to it by the Central Bank of Kenya Act cap 491.

Meanwhile, CBK will today begin marking the CBK@50 Golden Jubilee celebrations, the first in a series of activities running for one year and culminating in celebrations slated for September, next year when the regulator turns 50.

The bank has adopted the theme, BankiKuu@50: “Promoting Price Stability, a Sound National Payment System and a Vibrant Financial Sector” to anchor the golden jubilee celebrations.