With less than five days remaining before the old generation Ksh1000 banknotes get demonetized, a number of businesses have started rejecting them.
This is following the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) reiteration that the banknotes will be worthless — pieces of paper — come October 1.
The fear of being left with the “valueless” notes has largely been attributed to the early rejection of the notes ahead of the deadline which has been set for September 30.
Many business establishments across the country have already warned their customers of the imminent deadline.
Kenya’s leading telecommunication company, Safaricom, recently notified its customers that its shops won’t receive the notes after Thursday, September, 26.
“Safaricom will not take old notes after September 26, to allow us bank in time,” the telco said in a notice dated September 21.
Some supermarkets are said to have started rejecting the old banknotes as early as September 20.
Fast food franchise Pizza Inn has also warned its customers against using the old notes for payment in any of its outlets after September 26.
“Dear customer, as per the directive, we will not be accepting the old Sh1,000 note from September 26, kindly use lower denominations or other means of payment,” read a text message from Pizza Inn to its customers.
On September 6, the US Embassy urged those applying for visas at their consulate that they would stop accepting the old generation Ksh1,000 banknotes after September 12, 2019, which was about two weeks ago.
NOTICE: The U.S. Embassy’s consular section will not accept old KSH 1,000 notes after September 12, 2019. This is due to the directive of the @CBKKenya that 1,000 shilling notes of the old design will no longer be legal tender on October 1, 2019. pic.twitter.com/z2ZoKeWV6T
— U.S. Embassy Nairobi (@USEmbassyKenya) September 5, 2019
Some Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) operators are reported to have started declining the old generation notes.
Small business operators in towns and villages are also said to be apprehensive when it comes to accepting the banknotes. This includes shops and grocery vendors better known as ‘mama mboga’.
As the clock ticks towards the deadline CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge announced on Tuesday that Kenyans were yet to return Ksh100 billion by end of August.
He noted that neighbouring countries, Uganda and Tanzania, had already finished the exchange of Ksh1000 notes.
He urged Kenyans to make haste and exchange the money at their nearest banks as CBK won’t extend the October 1 deadline.
Already the new currency notes, which were launched in June during the Mashujaa fete in Narok, are in circulation.
It’s at the same function that CBK announced that the old Ksh1000 banknotes will become obsolete on October 1.
During the event, Njoroge, however, said the old Ksh50, Ksh100, Ksh200 and Ksh500 notes will be gradually phased out.
The exercise is aimed at blocking illicit financial flow in the country.