Three-judge bench to hear case challenging new notes

Written By: Asha Mwana Khamisi/Micheal Njuguna
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Chief Justice David Maraga has appointed a three judge bench to hear and determine the case challenging the new currency notes that were launched last month. 

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The CJ appointed Justices George Kimondo, Anthony Murima and Asenath Nyaboke to determine the case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, who challenged the implementation of the new banknotes launched last month.

In the case, Omtatah argued that there was no public participation before the banknotes were printed. He also challenged the use of President Jomo Kenyatta’s Portrait saying it violates section 231(4) of the constitution which states that Kenyan currency notes shall not contain a portrait of an individual.

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EALA MP Simon Mbugua also argued that the new notes bear images of a person in contravention of the constitution.

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Mbugua also argued that the Kenyan public was not consulted on plans to set withdrawal dates in four months.

The Central Bank of Kenya however maintained that it followed the law when printing the new notes. CBK argued that the portrait being challenged is a Statue.

According to the constitution 2010, article 231(4) the new generation notes and coins may bear images that depict or symbolize Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but should not bear the image of any individual.

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Meanwhile, Kenya’s transition to the new currencies has not affected the local securities markets as earlier feared.

Nairobi Securities Exchange chief Geoffrey Odundo says the market expects the process not to affect trading of securities at the market.

Odundo also emphasized the need for the public to participate in the Financial Reporting Awards to improve reporting and governance practices in the local financial industry.

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He said the move will inspire more confidence especially within the public sector entities in Kenya. He was speaking during the launch of the financial reporting award that seeks to recognize players for exemplary financial performance.

Last month the Central Bank of Kenya rattled the market after it announced that all the older 1,000 shillings banknotes shall be withdrawn and will cease to be legal tender on October 1, 2019.

The move according to CBK was meant to deal conclusively with emerging concerns about illicit financial flows and counterfeits.

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