Monday, June 21, 2004

Currency Portraits in Kenya

A lot has recently been made about the return of the old Kenyatta notes. According to reports the government wishes to reintroduce the Kenyatta notes and slowly phase out the Moi notes. I find this a wee bit vindictive and uncalled for. The current government may not like the previous president, but they can not change the fact that he was president and cannot erase him from our history books – though many may wish they could. I believe that a compromise can be struck that will enable us to have both faces on the currency; but I believe more can be done to straighten out this issue of whose face is on the currency notes or coins.
I believe that we can borrow from the Americans and institute a policy whereby one individual is limited to one currency note or coin. I believe that this policy should not be limited to presidents alone and should be extended to cover important figures in our countries past. I would suggest the following: one denomination dedicated to our heroes in the pre-colonial period (Mekatilili, Koitalel arap Samoei, Wayaki Wa Hinga). Another dedicated to the fight for freedom (Dedan Kimathi): another to the past presidents Kenyatta and Moi and the last one to the struggle for democracy (Odinga, Matiba, or Muliro). My choices for the portraits on currency denominations would be:
50-shilling note: Mekatilili, this would not only signify the struggle against colonization, but also glorify the importance of women in Kenya’s history.
100-shilling note: Dedan Kimathi, he is I believe the most recognizable face from the struggle for independence and would show our appreciation not only to him but also to other freedom fighters.
200-shilling note: President Kenyatta, as the first leader of our country and prominent figure in the fight for independence.
500-shilling note: President Moi, as our second leader.
1000-shilling note: Oginga Odinga, for his relentless fight for democracy since the advent of an independent Kenya.
As for the coins:
1 shilling coin, Moi and Kenyatta.
5 shilling coin, Wayaki Wa Hinga or Koitalel arap Samoei,
10 shilling, Matiba or Muliro.
20 shilling, Harry Thuku.
The denominations and the portraits on them should also be made permanent (by an act of parliament or constitution) so as to avoid any future alterations. With this I would hope that the future debate on portraits would be stymied and at the same time foster a sense of history and pride in our nation.


Blogger alexcia said...

Much ado about nothing.
There is nothing to add to this. Kibaki himself was talking America this and American that before he come to power and now this.
All this is goes to show the gova has no clue of its baldhead from its butt.

10:29 AM  

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