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Petitioners want CBK to retain portraits of former Presidents on currency

01 September 2015, 09:09 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Seven petitioners want the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to bar the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) from removing portraits of former Presidents on Kenyan currency.

The petitioners led by Mithamo Muchiri argue that retaining portraits of founding Presidents is an honor for their distinguished contribution to the country and that the huge sums of money to be incurred by CBK to remove the portraits should be re-allocated to other development projects.

The 2010 Constitution, Article 231 (4) provides that “notes and coins issued by CBK should not bear the portrait of an individual instead should bear images that depict or symbolize Kenya or an aspect of Kenya” such as tourists attraction sites, symbols of nationalism among others.

Read Also: Kenya's inflation falls to 5.84 percent year on year in August

However, Muchiri and his colleagues want amendments done to stop the implementation of the 2010 Constitution provision and the CBK Act, Section 22, Cap 491 giving the Bank powers to remove individual’s portraits and issue new currency.   

The petition was assigned to the National Assembly’s Departmental committee on Finance, Planning and Trade chaired by Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi) for consideration in October when the House resumes from its one-month recess.

The CBK was in the process of implementing the constitutional provision of issuing new currency that does not bear an individual’s portrait.

The CBK Act, Section 22 Cap 491 states, “The Bank shall have the sole right to issue notes and coins in Kenya and Subject to sub-Section (4), only those notes and coins shall be legal tender in Kenya.”

Former Presidents whose portraits appear on notes and coins are Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki.

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