You may be aware that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and President Kenyatta unveiled new Kenyan currency notes during the recent Madaraka Day fete in Narok. This move was seen by many as a step ahead of corrupt cartels hoarding billions of shillings in their houses. The government gave a four-month ultimatum for those who would like to exchange current KES 1000 notes with the new ones, which ends in October.
The CBK has advised those who would like to exchange any amount between KES 1 million – KES 5 million to contact their respective banks. In case one has the liquid cash but does not have a bank account, then you will be forced to contact CBK directly. If you just feel like going to the CBK to exchange any amount below KES 1 million, you are allowed to do so.
That will be the same case for those who want to exchange more than KES 5 million. The CBK through its twitter handle suggested that it has analysed and found out that those with more than KES 5 million are just a few individuals. There have been several cases of people being arrested with hoards of cash. Recently, DCI detectives found KES 700 million at the house of a personal assistant to a senior official of the ruling Jubilee Party. The matter, like many others, did not end up in court.
A driver attached to the Samburu County government was also arrested on June 2 with KES 1 million in an official vehicle and could not account for the cash. In October 2018, a househelp disappeared with KES 5 million she found stashed in the home of former Finance Minister Simeon Nyachae. A little search online reveals various arrests of people with a lot of cash which is suspected to have been acquired fraudulently.
From October 1, the current generation of KES 1000 notes will cease to be legal tender. Many see the short ultimatum t be a means towards nabbing those who steal from counties and the national goverbmnet or parastatals and store the money in their homes so it cannot be traced through banks. Some politicians have accused the government of targeting the pro-Ruto team which has been dishing millions of cash in churches and harambees in the last five years.
Did you know how much money is in circulation in Kenya?
Well, the Central Bank of Kenya did some maths for you. Below is exactly how much money and denominational units are in circulation in Kenya today:
- 217.6 million pieces of KES 1,000
- 30.8 million pieces of KES 500
- 54.8 million pieces of KES 200
- 126.4 million pieces of KES 100
- 100.5 million pieces of KES 50
- 9.9 million pieces of KES 20