Central Bank ‘did not follow legal procedure for new currency’: Parliament


Kenya's new currency. The Ksh,1000 note which will now be legal tender from October 1, 2019
Kenya's new currency. The Ksh,1000 note which will now be legal tender from October 1, 2019

In Summary

  • According to the Republic of Kenya 11th Parliament (second session) proceedings entitled 'Communication on the Procedure for Consideration of Delegated Legislation' under section 11 (4) of the Instrument Act:
  • "If a copy of a statutory instrument that is required to be laid before the House is not so laid within seven (7) sitting days after its publication, the statutory instrument ceases to have effect immediately after the last day for it to be so laid."

Controversy surrounding the new currency has deepened after the National Assembly confirmed that Central Bank of Kenya did not follow due process.

This is according to a letter dated June 27, 2019 from the Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai that was addressed to activist Okiya Omtata from Michael Sialai,.

It was written to Omtata in response to his request for information on tabling of the motion for the new currency in Parliament by the CBK.

“From our records i.e. Hansard reports, votes and proceedings and register of statutory instruments as set out in section 11(3) of the statutory instruments Act, we wish to confirm that the legal Notice No.235 of 7th December 2018, Legal notice No.72 of 31st May 2019 and legal notice No 4849 of 31st May 2019 are yet to be transmitted to us to register and cause tabling in the National Assembly,” it reads in part.

According to Omtata, this means that the move by the Central Bank in December 2018 and May 2019 to announce issuance of new notes and coins and demonetise the old Ksh.1000 tender is unlawful.

“The Clerk of the National Assembly has confirmed to me that that those notices were not presented before Parliament as required by the Statutory Instruments Act within 7 days of them being published and for failure to do so, those notices automatically become invalid null and void,” he said.

Omtata was speaking to journalists at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Friday.

According to the Republic of Kenya 11th Parliament (second session) proceedings entitled ‘Communication on the Procedure for Consideration of Delegated Legislation’ under section 11 (4) of the Instrument Act:

“If a copy of a statutory instrument that is required to be laid before the House is not so laid within seven (7) sitting days after its publication, the statutory instrument ceases to have effect immediately after the last day for it to be so laid.”

Omtata insists that subsequently, the new coins and notes have no legal standing.

“I will amend my petition to also have the new currency coins be invalidated because when I was filing my petition I didn’t have the information,” he added.

Chief Justice David Maraga has empaneled a three-judge bench to hear the petition as it raises substantive issues of law.

The hearing date for Omtata’s petition will be on notice to the parties in the matter.

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