The Central Bank of Kenya(CBK) has once again been forced to defend the durability of the new Kenyan currency notes which have been in circulation for about two years.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget on Tuesday, June 29, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge reiterated that the new notes are far superior to the old notes.
“It’s no question the new banknotes are technically superior to Kenya’s old notes,” he said, citing features such as advanced security, varnish to reduce tear and wear, and features to support identification by visually impaired persons.
Dr. Njoroge, however, admitted that the lower denominational Sh.50 and Sh.100 notes deteriorate faster due to a high rate of circulation and significant mishandling including ‘destructive tests’.
According to the CBK governor, most Kenyans don’t own wallets, which defeats the purpose since the new notes were designed with wallets in mind.
“The fading occurs owing to how we treat the currency. We are harsh in treating the currency. As a matter of fact, we all know how people are supposed to put them in wallets.
“Most of us don’t have wallets. We put the money in other places,” Njoroge explained.
At the same time, the CBK governor said there wasn’t any shortage of the notes and the supply to the market was consistent with the demands.
“If the notes are in poor state, we remove them from circulation and destroy them, exchanging the notes for new ones. However, it may take time before notes return to the CBK from circulation,” said Njoroge.
Adding: “If you have a dirty note, you can actually present this to your bank and exchange it for new notes or deposit the dirty notes. You can also directly exchange your dirty notes at the CBK.”