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Activist Omtatah sues Central Bank of Kenya over new currency

By Luke Anami | September 29th 2017
Photo: Courtesy

The High Court has certified as urgent a case seeking to compel the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to issue new notes and coins within 180 days in compliance with the Constitution.

Activist Okiyah Omtatah is seeking orders to have the bank and its governor, Patrick Njoroge, ordered to implement the new generation currency according to the Constitution.

"The petition and motion be and are hereby certified as urgent and both admitted for hearing on a priority basis," said Justice John Mativo.

The judge directed Mr Omtatah to serve both the CBK and Dr Njoroge the suit papers immediately and set a mention date for further directions on October 11.

Constitutional directions

Omtatah, who went to court on Wednesday, argues that CBK has so far failed to implement the constitutional directions that forbid the issuance of Kenyan currency notes and coins bearing the portrait of any individual.

“The Constitution categorically provides that notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of Kenya may bear images that depict or symbolise Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but shall not bear the portrait of any individual.

The CBK and its boss, Dr Njoroge, have continued to issue Kenyan currency notes and coins bearing the portrait of the late President Jomo Kenyatta, mischievously backdated to July 16, 2017,” said Omtatah in his application.

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