Let’s say that you sell potatoes at marikiti or maybe avocados at Ngara market and business is doing good. You are paid in cash and cannot wait to get out of Ngara or town as soon as possible because it noisy and there are some guys with red eyes who are looking at you badly.
So you get home as soon as possible and the first thing you do is empty your boxer shorts (that is where most of us keep a lot of money). Fifties, hundreds and thousands are lying on your bed and you count them diligently because you are a businessman/woman who really avoids making losses.
You store your money inside your sofaset, because under the sofaset, you made a zipper where you unzip and throw your money there. The money has now accumulated and its been a year now before you took the money to the bank. You have enough money within you sofasets to buy a Toyota Wish or a second hand double-cabin Hilux!
You do business legitimate business, not like those few crooks who do wash wash. You have never been at any committee of any CDF, and none of your friends is a politician, or works as a tenderpreneur. You just sell farm produce! You are not a thief. What will you do with your 3 million shillings hidden within your sofaset? Don’ worry, relax. Let me tell you how you can take your old notes to the bank and get new notes before October.
If yo are a Kenyan holding Sh1,000 notes, and need the new notes, you do not need to have a bank account to exchange them for the new generation ones, no. This is according to the Central Bank of Kenya.
Holders of the old legal notes will only need to visit the bank closest to them to get the new currency notes as long as they provide sufficient identification and confirmation that the cash belongs to them.
CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge, however, said that those with between Sh1 million and Sh5 million worth of the Sh1,000 denominations will have to visit their banks (where they hold accounts) and make proper declarations on the source of their cash to be allowed to exchange or deposit.
Holders of this volume of cash without bank accounts will have to contact CBK for a conversion to be facilitated.
“For between Sh1 million to Sh5 million, you will need to go to your bank where they know you, your type of business and they will still ask the usual questions and you sign the usual declaration forms just like it has been done before,” Dr Njoroge said.
Those with more than Sh5 million in cash will also be required to contact CBK.
These could be part of the stringent measures in place to catch dealers in illicit cash flows as Kenya heightens war on corruption and black economy.
Earlier, the CBK held a closed-door meeting with commercial banks chief executives to facilitate a seamless transition to the new notes which are said to be in circulation already.
There is no deadline attached to all the other denominations apart from the Sh1,000 notes.
Dr Njoroge also defended the process that midwifed the birth of the new currency, insisting it was within the CBK legal mandate to kick-start the controversial withdrawal of the Sh1,000 note by October 1, 2019.
The rollout has been challenged in court by activist Okiya Omtatah and East African Legislative Assembly MP Simon Mbugua in separate petitions.