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Why you shouldn’t accept ‘sweets’ for change at supermarkets

Next time a supermarket cashier gives you sweets for change you may want to remind them that the Central Bank of Kenya has declared the practise illegal.

CBK announced on Friday, through an advertisement on newspapers, that there are enough coins in circulation throughout the country.

“There is an adequate stock of coins and the Central Bank of Kenya has issued commercial banks with sufficient quantities of Kenya currency coins to facilitate smooth settlement of transactions,” read the statement.

CBK also stated that all monetary transactions should be done using the Kenyan currency unless otherwise provided by law or agreed upon by the parties.

This means that the return of change in form of sweets by supermarkets would only be valid if the shopper agrees to have their change settled that way.


“It is therefore a violation of the law to deny customers the possibility of obtaining their change in Kenya currency or deny them the opportunity to agree to settle the transaction in any other form,” read CBK’s statement.

The bank added that commercial banks should re-circulate coins among their customers and urged members of public experiencing difficulties in transacting using coins to contact any branch or currency centre of CBK.

Tusky’s supermarkets recently launched the settlement of change through airtime that they said was aimed at solving the coins shortage.

The supermarket’s CEO Dan Githua also admitted during an interview that coins are a delivery, space and logistics nightmare due to their bulkiness.

CBK has in its latest statement recognized that challenge and stated that “commercial banks, supermarkets and other entities should desist from the practice of issuing alternative products instead of currency coins on the basis of bulkiness or perceived shortage.”