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Conversion of Kenyan currency suspended in Uganda



The governor visited Dr Ruto at his office at Harambee Annex, Nairobi to deliver the serial number 2 currency notes. Serial number 1 was given to President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 1, 2019, during Madaraka Day celebration. PHOTO | DPPS

Uganda has joined Tanzania in suspending the conversion of Kenyan Shillings as a measure to tame illicit cash flows.

In a statement issued on Monday, Bank of Uganda said it had been informed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) that they have issued new banknotes effective May 31, 2019.

“Bank of Uganda will not accept Kenya Shillings at its counters with immediate effect,” Bank of Uganda said in a statement.

“Please be advised that changing Kenyan currency from old to new banknotes can only be done in Kenya,” the statement further read.


On Friday the Bank of Tanzania also suspended conversion of Kenyan currency to Tanzanian currency.

According to Tanzanian financial institution, they were advised to freeze the exercise by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in a move to tame illicit cash flows.

“With a view to combat illicit financial flows and counterfeits into the Republic of Kenya, the Bank of Tanzania has been advised to freeze CBK Currency Collection Account with immediate effect,’’ the statement read in part.


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Meet Kenyan Beauties and Brains in the US: Vote now for Miss Kenya USA [PHOTOS]




Voting is now open for Miss Kenya USA pageant as the clock ticks towards the much awaited colorful gala event set to take place on July 6th 2019 in Renton, Washington.

The Miss Kenya USA Organization’s objective is to empower young Kenyan women here in the United States through engaging them in events and programs that will enhance their educational background as well as growth within the Diaspora through philanthropic work.


The pageant’s ultimate vision is to allow each young lady that is participating in the pageant to have an avenue where they can express themselves freely while exercising their goals towards development. It also hopes to mold these young women to be leaders of tomorrow, by helping them adapt to roles and programs that will utilize their skills to their maximum potential.

Remember you can vote for your contestants daily: YOU CAN VOTE HERE ANY TIME

The Pageant was the brainchild of Mr. Michael a.k.a “Frakaz” Bisonga, under the Frakaz Entertainment Group based in Houston, TX. The Pageant was always hosted in Houston over the Memorial Weekend in 2006 saw the first actual pageant take place.

“Our ultimate goal is to impact one girl child at a time that will in turn produce a ripple effect within our community of development and self sufficiency,” says the founder.

We hope to link each one of the contestants with an organization that is already working at social and/or developmental issues in Kenya as well as here in the USA; to further the purpose of their platforms. Lastly we shall encourage these young women to market and be the best goodwill ambassadors for Kenya in the Diaspora. These women shall execute but not limited to the following expectations:

  • Organization Ambassadors
  • Community Development and leadership
  • Good stewardship
  • Pageant Platform Driven
  • Accomplish set Goals
  • Share their success stories to motivate others

She adds.


Here are the beauties and their bios:


My names are Carolyne Nganga. Currently, I am located in Washington DC and I am pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Nursing was and still is a career path I knew I wanted to pursue since I was 13 years old back in Kenya, because of financial constraints, I did not get a chance to pursue the career on completion of my high school education. Just to back up, I dropped out of high school due to lack of school fees and was out of school for 2 years. During this time, I got an opportunity to work as a waitress (at the age of 15) in a family owned restaurant in Nairobi. Right before
my 18th Birthday, I had enough savings to go back to high school and I proceeded. Working as a young teen exposed me to real struggles a lower class Kenyan face every day, struggles faced by young people due to lack of an Opportunity to pursue education and challenges of working teens. The experience built my character and thrust me towards desiring more not only to better my life but that of our community.

My platform, something I have yearned for a long period now is 1st education (every child matters, is my theme) 2nd is working towards curbing child-maternal mortality and lastly preventive care (teaching the community about all modifiable risk factors in an effort to reduce or better, prevent certain illness that have plagued our Community today for instance Hypertension, diabetes and stroke) I plan to use my skills in combination with high healthcare technology am exposed to here in the US to
instigate change in healthcare system in Kenya especially in rural areas.

My voluntary experiences include free clinics within the DC, Virginia and Maryland area, feeding the homeless in DC, support of several causes for instance runway for cure cancer awareness. I am excited to be part of this pageant because I believe the experience I will get will guide me into my Platforms.



My name is Cyndee Mulinge, and I was born in Kajiado and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. I am a graduate of Central Washington University with a Bachelor’s in Social Service and Psychology. Zealous in expressing my love for Kenyan culture while here in America, I work as an assistant for the African Print Takeover, a movement which brings African culture to the Northwest through fashion. Also, passionate to give back to the community, I regularly volunteer for various non-profit organizations such as Cry Out (an after-school program using music, dance, and creativity to empower youth to lead, pursue justice for themselves and others oppressed in their communities) and Mary’s Place, an organization which helps Seattle’s homeless by providing shelter.

I love giving back to my community! In continually doing so, I noticed a lack of follow through after organizations donate to children’s homes. How often does one check in after giving to see what else is needed? Thus, my Miss Kenya USA 2019 platform is charitable giving through Reach A Life Foundation. For the past year, I have partnered with the Nairobi-based “Reach A Life Foundation” to emphasize follow through by providing food, clothing, and tuition for orphans in various children’s homes. There is a sense of belonging when you know you have people who are looking out for you, who cares and supports you.  It is essential for us to show these orphanages that we are here, and willing to provide them with life’s basic needs and assist them with their major needs.

R.A.L.F has successfully provided support to 11 children’s homes, amongst them: A home specifically for children with disabilities, and another with children who are HIV+. My goal is to use my title as Miss Kenya USA 2019 to inspire my community, to further my education, and to aid R.A.L.F in expanding their reach to even more children homes in need. It would be an honor to be your Miss. Kenya USA 2019!

Do as well as you can, with what you have.


Hellen Kamau is a Kenyan native who currently resides in Birmingham, AL. She is a graduate from Auburn University in Auburn, AL and an incoming student at Samford University’s, McWorter School of Pharmacy in Birmingham, AL. In addition to these studies, she is also getting her master’s degree in Public Health. Her heart is for her community and that is where she desires to begin touching lives.
The journey to achieve a doctorate degree will expand what she’s been longing for in improving her community and the future healthcare systems in Kenya. Giving back in the area of healthcare is the mountain she stands on.
She is also associated with other organizations such as the National African Student Association(NAFSA), BLAQK EMPIRE, and Off the Block Kids Athletics, which is based in Kenya. NAFSA educates and guides students by helping them make a smooth ransition to getting jobs, lowering student loans, and to tackling obstacles faced while progressing into the work field.
BLAQK EMPIRE’s core values are grounded on empathy, gratitude and ambition. It’s main goal is to empower each of us to be better, to love ourselves and others while changing each community at a time. And lastly, Off the Block Kids Athletics is an organization based in Kenya that she has had an opportunity to be an ambassador of for the past 3 years. This organization works to get children involved, active and healthy through athletics. She has helped raise funds that have allowed the children to enjoy activities such as track and field, and providing the proper equipment. Through this organization they have been able to educate young children about their health, eating habits, and how to take care of there bodies at an early age. This organization aides in keeping children out of the streets, while helping them achieve their dreams and allowing a safe and fun place for children to simply be children.
All of these organizations stand for pride, unity and love. This candidate defines her future and the future of her beloved country by simply being our best versions. Miss Kenya USA gives a push to magnify what’s been simplified.


Mahatma Gandhi once said “Be the change that you wish to see in the World”, a statement Wendy Oduor desires to embody in her generation.

As a fashionista, host and speaker, the recent graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City believes that it is time to rise and champion the cause and solutions for mental health awareness.

Mental health remains a silent epidemic affecting millions of Kenyans. The lax mentality and approach as a nation towards mental health has instead oppressed those living with (knowing or unknowingly) and affected by various psychological diagnosis rather than leading them to a road of freedom and recovery.

After tragically losing her brother to suicide in 2014, Wendy, like many others, retrieved to silence. Wendy eventually understood that pain can birth purpose when allowed. This helped Wendy to begin sharing about her experience as a guest speaker at social events and utilizing social media to create awareness and a safe space where people break their silence and are encouraged to seek professional help. Wendy reaches over 100 people when hosting her weekly Mental Health Monday live on Instagram. In addition to creating awareness in the diaspora, Wendy also made it her mission to visit a mental health institution in Kenya to begin building relationships, understanding the logistics of the Kenyan health care system and gain first hand insight from Kenyan health professionals to see how to successfully combat Mental Health in Kenya, as a long term goal.

Wendy Oduor is embarking on the Miss Kenya USA pageant with a mission to promote mental health awareness across the diaspora and Kenya through education and action. This mission will entail dismantling countless generational errors in how Kenyans have dealt with matters affecting the mind, through constant conversations and teachings about mental health using but not limited to online platforms, schools, churches, and public events. The latter step which is about action, include result geared action plans put together by societal members alongside mental health care professionals to successfully guide individuals to their breakthroughs in the hopes to end the silent epidemic of mental health.


Age: 23 (soon to be 24)

Education: In 2017 I received my Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies and Marketing at Meredith College. Meredith is an all women’s liberal arts college in Raleigh, NC. After receiving my degree I traveled to work abroad in Asia for a year and a half as an English teacher! I have recently relocated back to the USA permanently and am currently working as a Communication Specialist in the Triangle Area.

Platform: Inclusion and Education for First Generation Kenyan American Youth

This cause is so near and dear to me because in so many ways it stems from how I have come to define myself and my own identity as a Kenyan American. I see a very great need in our diaspora community to include and educate our youth about where they come from. Especially as more and more Kenyans settle here in the States and have families, it’s apparent that their children are sometimes clueless about what it means to be Kenyan or even worse, they don’t care. Many don’t even know how to speak Kiswahili and definitely not their tribal language. I know this is an issue that has been prevalent in our communities for quite some time because I and my fellow Kenyan American peers were (and still are) this way!

Here is a little bit of background about me. I have always been proud to be a Kenyan and always maintained that I grew up in a true Kenyan home for the most part. Everything from the food we ate, the church we attended, and the family oriented priorities we held contributed to that. I was also very fortunate to grow up in an active Kenyan Community and to have traveled to Kenya often growing up. Through all of this I did learn a lot about Kenya historically, culturally, and also about my own families personal history. However, English is my first language and we always spoke English at home. My parents and extended family always struggled to try to teach me Kiswahili and Kikuyu. As I have gotten older I have taken it upon myself to learn. I still struggle to speak and overcome shyness of speaking, but I can understand about 50% while listening to a conversation so I have improved quite a bit! My goal this year is to become conversational by years end.

Many first generation children and young adults are in the same situation as me and it does make me very sad. Even though there is still a lot for me to learn, I am a big advocate for this cause and I feel that if we come together as a community we can find a way, many ways actually, to better include and educate our youth. Other nationalities have done wonders in this department so I am currently studying their methods. My dream is to operate a non profit dedicated to this cause! Should I win or place at all in the Miss Kenya USA pageant this year my winnings will go towards this endeavor.

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NBA Star Dirk Nowitzki and his Kenyan wife Begin Process of Becoming US Citizens



Dirk Nowitzki and his wife Jessica Olsson have started the immigration process that will eventually have home become United States citizen, the just-retire NBA star recently said.

Speaking to Dallas Morning News, Nowitzki, a German citizen who played his entire 21-year NBA career for the Dallas Mavericks, says he and his wife Jessica are in the process of getting green cards, hoping to eventually become US citizens in five years.

“We’re in the process of getting a green card. So once we accomplish that, then you have to be a green-card holder for, I think, over five years before you can even think about doing that [becoming a U.S. citizen]. So we’re going to do that and see how it goes. But obviously our kids were born here and they all have U.S. passports and the wifey and I have been on a visa for the last few years,” Nowitzki told Dallas Morning News.

Nowitzki announced his retirement from playing professional basketball at the end of the 2019 season.

Jessica Olsson is a Swedish citizen – her dad is Swedish while her mother was born in Kenya. The two wed in Nanyuki, Kenya in 2012. They have three children.


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VIDEOS: Panic grips Kenya as the corrupt are hit hard by new rule on Sh1,000 notes



The government has struck corrupt officials, launderers and those with ill-gotten money where it hurts most after the Central Bank of Kenya scrapped and recalled the current Sh1,000 notes.

In a shocking move that caught many unawares and that is expected to disrupt illicit financial flows, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said from October 1, the current Sh1,000 note would cease to be legal tender.

This means those with the Sh1,000 notes will either exchange them with new ones launched Saturday, deposit them at commercial banks, rush to bureaus to exchange them with foreign currency or stare at unbelievably massive losses.

Tax evaders, politicians, terrorist financiers and fraudulent businesspeople who will fail to get the money into the financial system will end up stuck with billions of hidden shillings that will become valueless in just months.

Those that have been hiding money in their bedrooms, bunkers, and safes will have the hardest task of getting it to banks or legitimising it.


The Sh1,000 note referred to in slang as “thao” or “ngiri”, is the highest denomination and is preferred by those carrying huge amounts.

It is now a race against time, given that they have weeks to clean their money.

But CBK may have anticipated this step already, having set up stringent anti-money laundering regulations that require one to account for funds when making withdrawals or deposits above Sh1 million.

“We have assessed the grave concern our large banknotes — particularly the older Sh1,000 series  are being used for illicit financial flows in Kenya and other countries in the region,” Dr Njoroge said at the Madaraka Day celebrations in Narok Saturday where he unveiled the new notes.

CBK insiders who spoke in confidence said Dr Njoroge’s announcement was the culmination of a secret operation that President Kenyatta was fully briefed about.

Other senior government officials were, however, caught by surprise.


“More recently, we have seen the emergence of counterfeits. These are grave concerns that would jeopardise proper transactions and the conduct of commerce in our currency,” the CBK chief added.

“To deal conclusively with these concerns, 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 will cease to be legal tender.”

The tough rules that have made it harder for people to clean illicit money include the requirement for bank customers to give a three-day notice to make over the counter transactions of more than Sh10 million, complete with supporting documents such as the source of the money, the purpose for withdrawing funds, the reason real-time gross settlement cannot be used and national identity cards/passport copies of the people involved in the transactions.

The guidelines also require the approval of the branch manager for cash transactions of Sh1 million to Sh10 million or the equivalent while cash transactions of Sh10 million to Sh20 million or the equivalent would require the approval of the regional branch manager or the senior manager.

This has made banks no-go zones for unsophisticated money launderers and those hoarding proceeds of corruption, forcing them to keep the money in their homes or offices.

Recent raids by anti-corruption detectives have unearthed hundreds of millions of shillings in unexplained wealth hidden in suspects’ houses.


When Ethics and Anti-Corruption detectives raided homes and offices of National Land Commission bureaucrats recently, they reportedly found a total of Sh18 million in local and foreign currency.

Former NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri, chief executive Tom Aziz Chavangi and others are facing several corruption-related charges.

Late last year, Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives reportedly found at least Sh700 million in the house of a personal assistant of a senior Jubilee party official during a secret raid though the matter never made it to court.

EACC and police officers investigating a Sh647 million Kenya Pipeline Company payout for hydrant pit valves supplies found Sh4 million from a suspect’s city residence last year.

EACC detectives told a court that they found more than Sh9 million in the homes and offices of a couple — Thomas Gitau Njogu and Teresia Njeri Gitau — during a raid in August 2017.

The trend has been similar in most corruption purges where millions of shillings have been found at houses.

During elections, many Kenyans withdraw billions of shillings from their accounts to keep at home due to political uncertainty.

In the 2017 General Election, an estimated Sh225 billion was withdrawn and kept at home in what is derisively referred to as “banking under the mattress”.

The CBK also launched other new generation notes at the same function. Circulation of these notes begins immediately.

This follows the launch of new coins with a wildlife theme in December.


In coming days, Kenyans will start seeing the new Sh50, Sh100, Sh200 and Sh500 notes that conform with the provisions of the Constitution, which require the CBK to come up currencies that do not have images of the sitting or former presidents.

A CBK source told the Sunday Nation that the regulator chose to do the process secretly to stop “serial litigious activists” from rushing to court to get injunctions, some on behalf of influential individuals.

This is why CBK announced the new currencies a day after it had gazetted them, to ring-fence the process from interference.

“The new generation banknotes were issued yesterday, May 31, 2019, by a gazette notice. They are now legal tender,” Dr Njoroge told the crowd in Narok.

The notes will come in themes and will have pictures of the country’s Big Five — the buffalo, the leopard, rhino, the lion and the elephant.

CBK says the five notes would bear a significant aspect of Kenya, and like coins, they would serve as means of passing knowledge, conserving culture and promoting the country’s uniqueness.

All the notes would bear the image of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

“The banknotes also embody the big five — nyati (buffalo), chui (leopard), kifaru (rhino), simba(lion) and ndovu (elephant),” Dr Njoroge said.

Every note will have a theme to show the people and beautiful nature of Kenya.

The Sh50 note will symbolise green energy, Sh100 (agriculture), Sh200 (social services), Sh500 (tourism) and Sh1,000 (governance).


“For the first time, the banknotes bear features that make them more accessible to the visually impaired members of our society,” Dr Njoroge said, adding that the CBK would soon roll out an awareness campaign on the features of the new notes.

The banknotes will circulate alongside those previously issued and not withdrawn.

Some of the security features of the notes include bars when felt at the edge.

The Sh50 note has one bar, Sh100 two bars, Sh200 three bars while the Sh500 and Sh1,000 notes will have four and five bars respectively.

CBK says when one runs fingers over the notes, he or she can feel Kenya and the value of the currencies.

When held up to the light from both sides, one can see a watermark of a lion’s head, the text “CBK” and the value of the note.

The security thread appears as a continuous line on the new note.

If the note is tilted at an angle, the thread changes colour from red to green.

The 200, 500 and 1,000 banknotes have additional rainbow colours on the thread.

“The golden band on the back of the note shows the value,” Dr Njoroge said.


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