Mutua defends Mzee Kenyatta’s image on new currency


Mutua defends Mzee Kenyatta's image on new currency
Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua addressing members of the public at Machakos market after an inspection tour of retail facilities. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Mutua said Mzee Kenyatta and other heroes of the country including Tom Mboya, Dedan Kimathi, Paul Ngei, Oginga Odinga, Wangari Maathai among others should not be disregarded.
  • Hefurther pointed out that the ongoing debate should be more about strengthening the value of the Kenyan currency as that is what affects the day-to-day living of the common citizen.

Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua has dismissed the ongoing push against the inclusion of former President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s image on the new currency notes unveiled by the Central Bank of Kenya.

According to Mutua, there is nothing wrong in having Mzee Kenyatta’s statue or that of any other democracy heroes in the country on the bank notes.

Addressing members of the public at Machakos market after an inspection tour of retail facilities, Mutua said Mzee Kenyatta and other heroes of the country including Tom Mboya, Dedan Kimathi, Paul Ngei, Oginga Odinga, Wangari Maathai among others should not be disregarded.

“A society that chooses to bash and disregard those who transformed it from colonial imperialism to the freedom we enjoy today is a doomed society. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta is in the books of history together with other great African founding fathers such as Nkrumah, Nyerere, Kaunda, Senghor, Nasser, Lumumba, Samora Machel and Mandela. You cannot wish Mzee Jomo Kenyatta away,” said the Machakos Governor.

“There is a difference between a statue and a portrait. What we have is a statue of our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on the new notes and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The people complaining would be okay if it was a statue of a lion or giraffe? Are those animals more important than our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and our heroes?”

Mutua further pointed out that the ongoing debate should be more about strengthening the value of the Kenyan currency as that is what affects the day-to-day living of the common citizen.

“The value of the currency and its impact on the economy is what we should be discussing, because at the end of the day that is what matters to Wananchi and not which statue or which animal is on a note. Let us be real,” said the Maendeleo Chap Chap Party leader.

“The value of money is not what picture or colour that is on it. The value of money is how strong and useful the currency is. How strong is the shilling against the Euro and dollar? How much of that money can our people have in their pockets to educate their children, buy homes, buy food and clothes, travel, live a good life. The U.S. dollar is not strong because it has George Washington’s portrait on it. No. The dollar is strong because its value is high.”

Two petitions by Activist Okiya Omtata and East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) legislator Simon Mbugua have been filed in court to challenge the legality of the new currency over the use of Mzee Kenyatta’s image.

The case has since been referred to Chief Justice David Maraga who is expected to appoint a three-judge bench to determine the matter.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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