‘Jomo Kenyatta’s image in new currency violates Constitution,’ Omtatah petitions


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

  • His main arguments in the petition include the inclusion of the late President Jomo Kenyatta's portrait which he says violates Article 231(4) of the Constitution.
  • Omtatah argues that contrary to reports, there was no public participation on the design and imagery used on the new notes.

A second petition challenging the new currency unveiled on Saturday, June 1 by President Uhuru Kenyatta has been filed by activist Okiya Omtata.

His main arguments in the petition include the inclusion of the late President Jomo Kenyatta’s portrait which he says violates Article 231(4) of the Constitution.

Omtatah argues that contrary to reports, there was no public participation on the design and imagery used on the new notes.

He further says that the demonitization of the Ksh.1,000 notes after October 1 is not supported by law.

“It is a lie that the currency was issued vide the Gazette Notice of 31st May 2019 as no such gazette notice exists at the Government Printer. A copy of The Kenya Gazette Published on 31st May 2019 does not contain a notice issuing the currency,” argues Omtata.

Omtatah is aggrieved that, contrary to Article 231(4) of the Constitution which decrees that Kenyan currency bank notes shall not bear the portrait of any individual, each new generation Kenyan currency bank note bears a prominently displayed portrait of the late President Jomo Kenyatta.

He argues that putting a picture of his full statue which is erected in front of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) on every note, the CBK simply used the architectural masterpiece that is the KICC to sneak onto the new generation Kenyan currency bank notes the portrait of the late President Jomo Kenyatta.

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