Kenyans have returned about Ksh100 million pieces of the old Ksh1000 notes ahead of the September, 30 deadline which was issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Speaking in a recent interview on Citizen TV, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge noted that the notes, which represent about 50 per cent of the old Ksh1000 notes in circulation, had been received by CBK by the end of August.
Njoroge, however, noted that the real figure will be known at the end of the ongoing exercise.
If the figure is anything to go by, it then means that Kenyans have less than a month to return over 117 million pieces of the Ksh1000 old currency notes that are still in circulation.
“It doesn’t really indicate much whatever we have now. It is quite possible some have delayed the conversation until the very last minute,” said Njoroge.
He urged all Kenyans holding the money to make haste before the window period expires as CBK will make it impossible for anyone to exchange the money after the 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.
Njoroge, who began a country-wide sensitization on the new currency notes last month, stated that the low return rate can partly be attributed to Kenyans’ last-minute culture.
“Those notes will be mere papers come October 1. We have enough new notes in circulation, people should follow necessary procedure and exchange at nearest banks or CBK,” said Njoroge.
How to exchange the old currency notes
In June, Njoroge stated that those who want to exchange the old notes for a value less than Ksh1 million can do so at their bank branches.
Kenyans without bank accounts can exchange at any branch of any bank, or even at the CBK. However, they will need to have official identification.
On the other hand, those who want to exchange amounts between Ksh1 million and Ksh5 million will need to go to their own banks.
Those who do not have bank accounts and want to exchange this amount will need to contact the CBK which will then endorse them and they can go to a designated bank branch.
Additionally, he added that people who would like to exchange amounts above Ksh5 million will need to contact the CBK.
The exercise is aimed at blocking illicit financial flow in the country.