It was much fanfare and jubilation as the Governor of the Central Bank unveiled the new generation notes at the Madaraka day celebrations on the 1st of June .This was the situation when Hindi populist Prime Minister Narendra Modi ,carried out the similar process in the world’s second most populous nation.
He touted the process as offering a blow to corruption and illicit trade , however , how wrong was he!
The mopping did not remove black money , moreover , it did little in suppressing corruption. Instead , it led to prolonged cash shortage that hindered industrial production and massively blew its GDP growth rate by up to 2%.
It is the duty of the central bank to create price stability by managing money supply, Kenya’s economy is a transitional one worth $63.4 Billion compared to the huge Hindi’s at $2.6 Trillion economy.
Any miscalculations could plunge the country into deep financial crisis.
However , there is an uphill task in the implementation of the demonetization process as already there are court cases .The process was supposed to be completed in 2015 , in lines with the 2010 constitution , however , it fell its deadline due to tender disputes – uncommon for such stake projects.
At the moment ,controversy over the inclusion of Jomo Kenyatta’s statue (part of the KICC architecture ) is raging on as pundits argue this is a direct breach to the law which disallows for the inclusion of an image of anyone in the currencies.
It is noteworthy , however , to state that if implemented well , the advantages outweigh the demerits. Besides cutting illicit flow , it will allow everyone to take part in trade with inclusion of features for the visually impaired.
The new features will help to differentiate between fake and genuine notes with Kenya becoming a haven of counterfeits.
It is also hoped that the measure will bring back money into the economy as at February , this year , Kenyans across the country hoarded up to sh 216.4 billion.
This said , it is the hope of everyone that the Kenyan process doesn’t go the Hindi way !