By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Uganda has joined Tanzania to suspend the conversion of Kenyan Shillings as a measure to stop the rush to wash in illegally got cash in neighbouring countries after Kenya decided to issue newer series.
In a statement issued Monday evening, Bank of Uganda said it had been informed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) that they have issued a new series of banknotes effective May 31, 2019 with a view to combat illicit flows and counterfeits into Kenya. “Bank of Uganda will not accept Kenya Shillings at its counters with immediate effect,” BOU said in a statement. “CBK has also suspended currency conversion and repatriation of Kenya currency.” BOU added that going forward, “People are advised to subject all flows from and into Kenya to enhanced due diligence. Please be advised that changing Kenyan currency from old to new banknotes can only be done in Kenya.”
Robert Mpuuga, a banker in Uganda, said they were not accepting the 1,000 Kenyan Shillings note (equivalent to 36,000 Uganda Shillings) but were converting smaller denominations. “We are converting the Kenyan shillings but not accepting the 1000 notes,” Mpuuga said. The 1000 Kenya Shilling note is the highest currency bill in Kenyan currency but also used to transfer and launder huge amounts of cash by the corrupt, money launders, and counterfeit kings. Kenyans have up to October 1 to have turned in this note after that, the older version will be invalid. There is no deadline for turning in the other notes of lower bills. John Njoroge, the CBK governor, said last week: “Illicit financial flows involving the Kenya Shilling is not just in Kenya. They also affect our neighbouring countries.”