Kenya will get new currency by June next year after the Central Bank moved to contract international companies to design and print notes and mint coins.
CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said they will issue new notes and coins between April and June next year.
“Our expectations according to timelines are to issue the currency in the second quarter of 2018,” Dr Njoroge said yesterday at a press briefing.
According to court papers filed by British firm De La Rue to stop the process, CBK issued an international tender on October 24 this year with bids opened to select a winner on Wednesday this week.
CBK in replies filed, however, claimed it invited bidders on July 8, 2014 through an advertisement in the dailies.
De la Rue has challenged supply of new design notes claiming CBK locked it out of the tender after it prequalified international firms.
The firm claimed the apex bank should have first established if the currency could be printed locally before it went shopping abroad.
De La Rue, which has been printing Kenyan currency for the past 25 years, also argued that offshoring printing posed a risk while it is safer to print in Ruaraka, Nairobi where currency is also destroyed.
It should have set conditions for technology supply and required the international firm to acquire 40 per cent of supplies locally.
“We are moving ahead with production and issuance which is consistent with the constitution, the CBK Act and other laws,” Njoroge said.
CBK told the court that there are no local firms that can print new currency notes in accordance to its specifications. The banking sector regulator told the court that due to the complex nature of currency production, materials are imported.
CBK also denied using De La Rue to destroy old bank notes adding that the exercise is done without any involvement of any printer.
It also explained that many countries do not have local banknotes printers and the same does not breach their security.