– Gladys Wanga argued the new notes should not be invalidated because of a sculpture of the founding father
– MP Gladys Shollei on the other hand added interpretations on use of Kenyatta’s image was becoming too litigious for no reason
– The two women reps disagreed with MPs Otiende Amollo and Simon Mbugua who argued use of former president’s image violated the constitution
– Central Bank of Kenya governor maintained the law was fully followed when designing the new generation notes
Debate on the use of portrait of the founding president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on the new Kenyan currency notes has now taken a political turn with leaders from both sides of the political divide weighing in on the matter.
Whereas a section of the politicians feel design of the notes did not fully comply with the Constitution because of the presence of Mzee Kenyatta’s image, others found the raging debate around the portrait outrightly absurd.
Appearing on Citizen TV on Tuesday, June 4, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, a senior member of the ODM party, pointed out the image that was being talked about is in fact a sculpture on the iconic Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
“This issue has to be the most frivolous of all arguments…Should we go and curve out the sculpture of the founding father (Jomo Kenyatta) out of KICC for it (the new currency) to pass? Let us not trivialise this debate on the new currency,” she said.
The outspoken Opposition lawmaker added the new notes will bring about a positive impact on the country’s economy.
“The new currency will finally have a good effect on our economy because there are people stashing money in their homes. People have been complaining a lot about money not circulating; there has been scarcity ,” she explained.
Wanga’s sentiments were echoed by Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi and her Uasin Gishu counterpart Gladys Shollei and others who also held that the debate on the new currency was being stretched way too far.
“What I do not understand is the problem people have with our founding father which is now a portrait. Kenyatta never enforced himself on us,” Elachi argued.
I think we are taking interpretations and becoming too litigious for no reason. The reason why we have a crisis in the judiciary is because they take up any case even when it is not justiciable,” Shollei added in reaction to the petitions recently filed in court to challenge legality of the new notes.Loading...
Among the MPs who were not impressed with the new generation notes unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday, June 1, were Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo and former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua, currently a member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA).
“I have seen the new notes unveiled. I am personally persuaded they are contrary to Article. 231(4) of the Constitution, to the extent that they bear the image and portrait of the founding president. Are we short of Images that depict Kenya?” he posed.
Mbugua on his part moved to court to seek for removal of Mzee Kenyatta’s portrait on new KSh 1, 000 note, arguing the use of the image of the founding president violated article 23 (14) of the constitution.
“Central Bank of Kenya has unveiled new bank notes pursuant to its powers under section 21 (1) and (2) of the Central Bank Act Cap 491 Laws of Kenya. The same has been done without satisfying the public participation requirement under article 10 (2) (a) of the constitution,” the MP argued in his petition.
Also in court for similar reasons was Activist Okiya Omtatah.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) boss Patrick Njoroge nevertheless maintained the Constitution was fully complied with when designing the new currency.
“We have followed all the applicable laws to get to this point, and in terms of the quality of the notes, we have tried listening to the public. We involved the public in the designs of the notes and various features on it. If you recall, the new coins had images depicting our wildlife.
And in the case of the notes, they are depicting various elements of our economic activities and aspects of things that relate to our economic prosperity,” he said on Monday.
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