MP, activist challenge new notes release over President Jomo Kenyatta's sculpture

Two cases challenging the release of new bank notes into circulation were yesterday filed before the High Court.

The petitions filed separately by activist Okiya Omtatah and East Africa Legislative Assembly Member of Parliament Simon Mbugua say the image of a statue of President Jomo Kenyatta are in violation of the Constitution and should be removed from the new denominations.

According to the petitioners, although Kenyatta’s portrait is captured as a part of Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC), it is a representation of the former President's image, whose inclusion is illegal.

“The petitioners posit that the new design Kenyan currency bank notes are unconstitutional and, therefore, invalid, null and void, because they violate Article 231(4) of the Constitution to the extent that they bear the portrait of the late President Jomo Kenyatta,” the petitions read.

Mr Omtatah claimed the new notes might not have been gazetted. He said a notice published yesterday did not have information about the newly released noes. Upon inquiry from the Government Printer, he claimed, he was informed that the gazette had not been printed.

"It is a lie that the currency was issued vide the Gazette Notice of May 31, 2019, as no such gazette notice exists at the Government Printer. A copy of The Kenya Gazette published on 31st May 2019 does not contain a notice issuing the currency,” he said.

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He added: "The petitioner posits that it was the people’s express wish during the Constitution of Kenya review process to disassociate imagery on Kenyan money with any individual."

Mr Mbugua also wants Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge out of office, adding that the new notes should not circulate until the matter is heard and determined.

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new generation bank notesNew Currencyactivist Okiya Omtatah