Minority Leader of the National Assembly and Suba South MP John Mbadi says the ODM supports the introduction of the new currency notes although there are legal requirements that the Government ought to consider.
Mbadi said that contrary to earlier reports which revealed that the party called for a recall of new notes, it is instead supporting its introduction and wants the deadline to be moved to August.
He said that the notes printed bearing the statue of country’s first President Jomo Kenyatta should be allowed to be circulated and be replaced gradually with other printed notes with no such features because notes ‘wear out with time.’
While speaking at the Parliament Buildings on Tuesday morning, the legislator sought to clarify party’s position and called on his colleagues in the ODM to avoid giving contrasting views, and that the party needs to speak with one voice on the issue.
“…you can call it a statue or anything else but it is still a portrait. I think the people of Kenya had a reason why they passed Article 231 (4) of the Constitution. It was not proper to have the portrait of the first president on our notes,” Mbadi stated while explaining the discussed errors on the designs of the notes.
He however said that the country should consider balancing public interest and economic considerations. And that costs have been incurred to print new notes and therefore a neutral point of agreement is necessary. This he stated, is the reason why they are supporting the circulation of new notes after which they will be replaced with other notes with no portraits as required by the law.
He challenged his colleagues to stop the debate on the Central Bank’s move and instead channel the energy on other issues such as the fight against graft, TSC-teachers’ tussles among others.
“There should be no exchanges about this because I don’t think it adds value to the party. Let us concentrate on other things,” he said.
Over the weekend, ODM lawmakers sharply disagreed on the party’s position over the new currencies. Mbadi, his Senate counterpart James Orengo and ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna had opposed the inclusion of the former President Kenyatta’s image, terming it unconstitutional and vowing to fight it.
But later on, MPs led by Minority Whip Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Tom Kajwang' (Ruaraka), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay), James Nyikal (Seme) and Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga) said the remarks by the leaders were their personal opinions and did not represent the position of the party.
They bashed Mbadi, Orengo and Sifuna for giving personal opinions which can mislead the masses as the bona fide party’s position.
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge yesterday alleviated fears over the bank notes saying that the move was motivated by the drive to fight fraud and corruption. He told those with Sh5 million and below to exchange the notes at their banks and those with a higher amount to go to the CBK.
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