Governor Alfred Mutua has lauded the unveiling of new currency notes by President Uhuru Kenyatta during this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations, saying the move was a big boost to the on-going purge on corruption.
Dr Mutua said the move was critical owing to the billions of unpaid taxes and loot stolen from public coffers by some leaders, who have stored them in form of the current bank notes.
He described the move to change the country’s currency as ‘a timely snare’ for looters and swindlers who had been stealing from Kenyans. Mutua said energy should now be directed towards tracking suspicious transactions.
“This is a great step towards fighting corruption and cleaning up Kenya. I urge investigative bodies to track money being banked or converted into U.S dollars. What cannot be accounted for should be taken by the State and used to buffer the exchequer,” Mutua said in a statement released to the press on Sunday.
The Machakos governor however, said innocent citizens should not be afraid of exchanging their clean-earned cash. We should also acknowledge some people keep legally obtained cash instead of banking it and they should be allowed to change what they have to the new bills. It is not illegal to keep cash. Wananchi should not be forced to bank their money,” he said.
During the Madaraka Day celebrations, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge declared that one thousand shillings notes will cease to be a legal tender after October 1, 2019. Other currency notes including for S500, 200, 100 and 50 were also unveiled.
Mutua also noted that the new directive on change of currency notes will also act as a catalyst to economic growth by having more money injected into the economy. “We should expect an increase in the amount of money being spent and this will increase consumer spending and also create more job opportunities,” Mutua said.