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

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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.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: See new Kenyan currency

TRANSACTIONS

“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“To deal conclusively with these concerns, the older Sh1,000 series shall be withdrawn.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.

SH225 BILLION

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.

READ ALSO:   COST OF NEW MONEY: Kenyan banks to redesign ATMs to accommodate new currency

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.

RING-FENCE

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.

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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).

WATERMARK

“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.

SOURCE: nation.co.ke

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Africa

VIDEO: Pomp and colour as Real Estate Developer ‘Mahiga Homes Ltd’ celebrates 2nd Anniversary

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ADVERTISER’S MESSAGE: Your number one most trusted real estate developer in East and Central Africa Mahiga homes Ltd celebrated 2nd anniversary in pomp and colour, the event was marked with jubilation as every speaker praised the developer for the great achievements in just two years.

The developer has built and handed over 4 housing projects namely;

*Cornerstone I Estate
*Cornerstone III Estate
*Cornerstone IV Estate
*Kamulu Cornerstone Gardens
The celebrations were attended by several guests and clients who have invested with Mahiga homes.
Kikuyu Diaspora Media CEO Jeremy Damaris and Finance Director Josephine Wairimu graced the event.

Jeremy Damaris had this to say, ‘when Ruhiu told me that he has a project I listened to him and trusted him as my brother, its two years down the line and have never heard any complains from any client.
Mahiga homes Directors thanked and appreciated all the clients from believing in the developer.

Here are the current affordable houses that the developer is selling,
Rockvilla Annex located just 400 meters off tarmac at Joska long kangundo road, Kangundo rd is under construction to upgrade to dual carriageway,Spacious 3 bedroom bungalows master ensuite on plot size 40 by 80 kes 3.95m deposit kes 1.6m then pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: See new Kenyan currency

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Africa

VIDEO: Pomp and colour as ‘Mahiga Homes Ltd’ celebrates 2nd anniversary

Published

on

ADVERTISER’S MESSAGE: Your number one most trusted real estate developer in East and Central Africa Mahiga homes Ltd celebrated 2nd anniversary in pomp and colour, the event was marked with jubilation as every speaker praised the developer for the great achievements in just two years.

The developer has built and handed over 4 housing projects namely;

*Cornerstone I Estate
*Cornerstone III Estate
*Cornerstone IV Estate
*Kamulu Cornerstone Gardens
The celebrations were attended by several guests and clients who have invested with Mahiga homes.
Kikuyu Diaspora Media CEO Jeremy Damaris and Finance Director Josephine Wairimu graced the event.

Jeremy Damaris had this to say, ‘when Ruhiu told me that he has a project I listened to him and trusted him as my brother, its two years down the line and have never heard any complains from any client.
Mahiga homes Directors thanked and appreciated all the clients from believing in the developer.

Here are the current affordable houses that the developer is selling,
Rockvilla Annex located just 400 meters off tarmac at Joska long kangundo road, Kangundo rd is under construction to upgrade to dual carriageway,Spacious 3 bedroom bungalows master ensuite on plot size 40 by 80 kes 3.95m deposit kes 1.6m then pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: See new Kenyan currency

Continue Reading

Africa

A milestone for Kenya as relationship with UK elevated to ‘strategic partnership’

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Kenya may have signed trade deals worth Sh227 billion at the recent UK-Africa Investment Summit but officials say the ultimate goal was to cement guarantees that could provide Kenyan businesses at least a five-year assured market.

After a meeting between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Uhuru Kenyatta, the statement indicated Kenya and the UK were elevating their relationship to ‘strategic partnership.’

In international relations, countries routinely enhance the status of their cooperation depending on need, and labelling theirs ‘strategic’ implies deeper long-term goal for business, political or cultural ties.

Kenya has a similar status with the US and China, while it has run a ‘special status agreement’ with Ethiopia since 2012.

LONG OVERDUE

For the UK though, officials admit it may have been long overdue, given UK’s more than 200 firms operate in Kenya, with an annual foreign direct investment of about Sh80 billion by 2017.

The British High Commission in Nairobi says 80 per cent of all workers employed in private corporate bodies in Kenya earn from a British-related firm. It adds that the British also pump in Sh7.4 billion annually in security cooperation.

UK will also be sending some Sh527 billion in aid.

So what will it mean for Kenya?

READ ALSO:   ODM Politician among those arrested over Ksh2 Billion Fake Cash at Bank

At the summit, there were about 50 Kenyan corporate chiefs.

EXPERTS AND RESOURCES

The dispatch said this elevation, targeting the first half a decade, will create a pool of experts and resources to focus on business, security, conservation, people relations and sustainable development known as the ‘five pillars.’

“From 2020-2025, we will work together across five pillars…reflecting the key challenges and opportunities of our time,” a joint dispatch from the meeting between PM Johnson and President Kenyatta said.

“Our countries will develop new investment and trade opportunities that will support business, including those of the Blue economy, and create jobs.”

The UK wants to start a formal exit from the European Union (EU) starting next week on January 31 and the worry among Kenyans was that there is no trade agreement to replace the one signed during the EU days.

NO DUTY

The leaders agreed that Kenya enjoys the old order of no duty imposed on Kenyan fresh produce during the 18-month transition, but technocrats will have to thrash out a deal within the next one year.

Initially, the EU insisted on negotiating with the East African Community as a whole and it often led to some members moving slowly, inconveniencing the stronger economy in Kenya.

READ ALSO:   Why you won't be able to use the current 1000 Kenyan bank notes after Sept this year

In London, Kenyan officials argued that the collective approach was burdensome on the country and called for what is known as a geometric asymmetry where those willing to sign go ahead.

Ahead of the summit where 21 other leaders were invited, Kenya had said it will use the event to pitch for investment in affordable housing and healthcare.

GREEN BOND

It saw the launch of the first green bond worth Sh4 billion by UK property developer Acorn Holdings.

If it raises this money, the developer intends to use the funds to build eco-friendly hostels for 50,000 university students in Nairobi.

The UK has also offered to buy in what Kenya is marketing as Nairobi Urban Renewal Programme, which involves giving land to investors to put up affordable houses.

A railway city in Nairobi, estimated to cost Sh395 billion, was announced two years ago. But lack of money has stalled it to date.

The President said he was looking for people to invest in it, as private dealers, probably dodging the perennial criticism of taking loans.

“There was a great focus on private sector investment to grow jobs,” Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu told the Nation on Saturday.

ISSUES OF THE DAY

READ ALSO:   List of All Saccos in Kenya

“There was also a great focus on partnership in tackling issues of the day such as immigration, security and climate change.”

The University of Manchester Hospital and the Christie National Hospital Service inked MoUs for cancer research collaboration with Kenya.

But one of the criticism about UK-Africa relations is the tough visa rules, often taking weeks to mature and sometimes applicants being rejected.

For example, it is often easier to get a visa into China than to the UK.

There was no formal announcement on specifics, but there was a promise to ‘look into’ how Kenyan students in the UK could be granted a two-year stay after graduation to gain work experience.

DEALS

The following are some of the deals:

  • Solar power producer Globeleq said it will put some Sh6.6 billion in establishing a solar farm in Malindi.
  • Tullow listed as pledging to continue investing £1,200m in continued oil production in Kenya.
  • British beer maker Diageo, which owns a big chunk of East African Breweries, investing Sh22 billion in projects meant to improve the environment.
  • British firm Acorn Holdings fetching Sh4 billion million via green bond on the London stock exchange, to build student hostels in Kenya.

-Nation.co.ke

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