President Uhuru Kenyatta and the CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge unveiled Kenya’s new generation coins that started circulating on 11 December 2018.
At the launch, president Uhuru hailed the new currency as historical and culture preserving, at the same time being friendly to all Kenyans including visually impaired people.
The new generation coins will be available in denominations of Sh1, Sh5, Sh10 and Sh20.
The 2010 Constitution banned the use of Presidential portraits on Kenyan currency, paving the way to the use of Kenya’s wildlife on the new legal tender, as follows:
The silver colored Sh1 coins weigh 5.5g, bear the Image of a giraffe on the front and Kenya’s court of arms on the reverse.
The Sh5 coin weighs 3.75g with a diameter of 19.5mm, bear an Image of a rhino on the front and Kenya’s court of arms on the reverse.
The Sh10 coin weighs 5g, is 23mm in diameter with a yellow outer and silver inner and bear the Image of a lion on the front and Kenya’s court of arms on the reverse.
The new Sh20 coin weighs 9g with a diameter of 26mm. It is silver on the outer side and yellow inside. It bears the image of an elephant on the front and Kenya’s court of arms on the reverse.
With the new animal portraits, Kenyans on twitter were quick to baptize the new coins;
The Central Bank of Kenya confirmed in November that the tender to create new currency and phase out of the old currency awarded to De La Rue after a grueling court battle over the tendering process will cost the Kenyan tax payer Ksh 15B.
Although the new currency is promulgated in the 2010 Constitution, it still begs the question, if the government is struggling to raise money for recurrent expenditure like salaries for civil servants etc, was it necessary to implement this now and spend that kind of money?
Changing the look of a currency is like cosmetic surgery because it only changes the look but does not affect the underlying value and wisdom will have it that you do not go for a cosmetic surgery to change your face on an empty stomach.
The phase-out of the old-generation coins will be gradual, with the new currency coins circulating alongside the existing ones. Welcome to the new currency but broke Kenya.
Join the Financial matters clan and be on top of financial opinions.