As the clock ticks towards the deadline for the demonetization of the old generation Sh1,000 banknotes, many businesses are already rejecting them as a way of ensuring they don’t find themselves with valueless cash.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has set the date for exchanging the old currency to September 30, 2019, which is less than a week away, but going by the trend in the country, the old notes might have already lost their value to some specific individuals and businesses.
Many business establishments across the country have printed notices warning clients of the imminent deadline for the old generation notes.
Supermarkets across the country started rejecting the old Sh1,000 banknotes as early as September 20, while leading Kenyan telco Safaricom has warned its customer that they will not be receiving any old Sh1,000 notes after Thursday September 26.
“Following the demonetisation of Sh1,000 note, we advise that the last day to collect the old currency at Safaricom shops will be Thursday,” reads a notice from Safaricom’s regional operations noticeboard.
Fast food franchise Pizza Inn has also warned its customers against using the old notes for payment in any of its outlets after September 26.
“Dear customer, as per the directive, we will not be accepting the old Sh1,000 note from September 26, kindly use lower denominations or other means of payment,” read a text message from Pizza Inn to its customers.
The US Embassy consular section in Nairobi has also issued a notice to the public over transacting with the old Sh1,000 notes effective September 12.
“The US Embassy’s consular section will not accept old Sh1,000 notes after September 12. This is due to the directive of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) that 1,000 shilling notes of the old design will no longer be legal tender on October 1, 2019,” the notice reads.
Similarly, Public Service Vehicles have also started rejecting the old notes, with conductors warning would-be passengers not to pay fare with the old notes.
According to one tout, its becoming risky transacting in the old Sh1,000 notes since even petrol stations where they fuel are rejecting them.
Within the estates, small scale business people have also become averse to the old Sh 1,000 notes.
“Take that one to the bank and come and pay me tomorrow,” a certain mama mboga told this writer.
CBK ordered for the return of the old generation Sh1,000 notes during Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2019 when the new generation banknotes were unveiled.
The introduction of the new banknotes was meant to disrupt the multi-billion shillings fake currency business in Kenya and across the region.
While the old Sh1,000 notes will be demonetized by October 1, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said the old Sh50, Sh100, Sh200 and Sh500 notes will be gradually phased out.
According to the CBK, about 100 million pieces of the old Sh1,000 notes had been returned to the CBK by end of August, which translates to about 50 per cent of old Sh1,000 in circulation.