Days before the old Kenyans shillings 1000 notes ceases to become legal tender in Kenya, a man walked into a Nairobi showroom and bought a Mercedes with a heap of 1,000 shillings banknotes.
A car dealer who spoke to the Standard reveals how his client unleashed thousands of the old notes to buy a car worth Ksh 7.7 Mn.
“People want to get rid of their old notes, but they know very well that questions will be asked if they go put the money themselves in the bank,” the car trader who sought anonymity said.
An earlier statement from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicated that only 100 million pieces of the old 1,000 banknotes have been collected out of 217.6 million pieces of 1,000 banknotes were in circulation before the exchange kicked off.
As the deadline for the old Ksh 1000 notes nears, Kenyans are left with fewer and fewer platforms where they can convert the old notes they still have.
As early as September 21, some businesses started rejecting the old Ksh 1000 notes. Matatu touts, retailers, food franchises and even M-Pesa agents no longer trade using the old notes.
“Dear customer, as per the government directive, we will not be accepting the old Sh1000 note as of September 26, 2019. Kindly use lower denominations or other means of payment,” fast-food chain Pizza Inn said in a message sent to clients.
E-commerce platform Jumia also gave notice in its website, “Jumia will no longer accept payments using old Sh1,000 notes after September 25. Use the new notes, M-Pesa, Visa, Jumia Pay for all payments.”
On June 1st, the government of Kenya through Central Bank governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge ordered old one thousand notes to be returned after unveiling new currency notes during the Madaraka day celebrations.
Njoroge highlighted the reason for phasing out the Sh1,000 notes as the fact that they are being used for illicit financial flows in the country and region.
Just a month after CBK made known the plans to get rid of the old Sh1,000 banknotes, a massive Sh 25 billion resurfaced into circulation.
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