The Central Bank of Kenya has unveiled new banknotes during the 56th Madaraka Day celebration held in Narok County.
CBK governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge on Saturday announced the notes were issued on Friday, May 31 via a Gazette notice and are now a legal tender.
Except for the Sh 1000 notes which have been withdrawn, the new notes will circulate alongside the old ones.
Njoroge said Kenyans have until October 1 to exchange the older Sh 1000 notes for newer ones to curb illicit finance.
“We have assessed the grave concern that our large banknotes—particularly the older Sh1,000 series—are being used for illicit financial flows in Kenya and also other countries in the region,” he said.
He added: “More recently we have seen the emergence of some counterfeits. These are grave concerns that would jeopardise proper transactions and the conduct of commerce in our currency. To deal with those concerns, all the older Sh1,000 series shall be withdrawn by a Gazette Notice dated May 31, 2019, all persons have until October 1, 2019 to exchange those notes, after which the older Sh1,000 bank notes will cease to be legal tender,”
All the bank notes bear the image of Kenyatta International Convention Center. They also embody each of the big five animals (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard).
Dr Njoroge said the new currencies have designs that meets the CBK requirements, serve the public aspirations and capture the spirit of the constitution.
The 50 shillings note bears images that symbolise green energy at the back while that one of Sh100 bears agriculture-related images.
The Sh200 notes bear images of social services, the Sh500 tourism images and the highest value Sh1000 note displays governance images.
The notes have features that make them accessible to the visually impaired people.