Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has disowned new currency notes circulating in social media and says the process of rolling out currencies and coins with new features is ongoing.
The bank had set September this year as the roll-out year of the new notes, but a tender for printing the new currency is yet to be awarded.
Article 231(4) of the constitution bars the use of portraits or images of individuals on currencies and coins.
Since independence, the images of Kenya’s founding father the late Jomo Kenyatta and former president Daniel arap Moi have featured prominently on the country’s currency.
An attempt by Kenya’s third president Mwai Kibaki to introduce his image on the Kenyan currency did not succeed.
To tame this, the Kenyan constitution that was enacted in 2010, banned the use of portraits or images of individuals on currencies and coins.
The constitution gave CBK a five year period to embark on a process of replacing the notes and coins.
However, the bank has not started the printing process after it annulled a tender to print the money after one of the bidders quoted a zero price.
Last year, CBK Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge told the senate it plans to start the roll-out of new notes this month after it failed to deliver on the August 2015 constitutional deadline.
On Tuesday this week, the governor failed to give specific timelines of the rollout saying the process is still ongoing.
Dr. Njoroge told the media that consultations between various stakeholders are still on.
Images of new notes surfaced on social media platforms on Wednesday showing a new 500 note bearing the image of a lion and a 200 note with the image of a rhino.
CBK urged the public to ignore the images of the notes saying it has not printed any currencies.
The bank says the introduction of new notes will be accompanied by massive public sensitization campaign.
The new currency is expected to be in the notes of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 shillings which will be followed by a gradual phase-out of the currencies currently in circulation.