Controversial city businessman Paul Kobia has said the directive by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to have old Sh1000 notes returned to the bank by September 1 has devalued the Kenyan shilling, especially against other East African currencies.
Speaking when hosted by Banana Peddler, Kobia noted that the move to have new currency notes was right, however, the 120 days notice to withdraw the old notes was not realistic.
Kobia compared the duration the United States of America and Europe took to withdraw old currency, which he says was between 50 and 15 years respectively insisting that the old ones can still be used to transact businesses in the countries now.
"Changing currency is not a bad move but you need to leave the old currency in circulation for even 20 years. Changing a dollar takes even 50 years. European Union took like 18 years to change their currency to Euros. Right now even in Germany ( A European Union country), Deutsche Mark (DM) you can use it to transact. It's only that once you bank it, it never gets into circulation," he said.
Kobia further said its only India which tried to change currency within a short time but failed.
According to the tycoon, after the CBK wrote to their Ugandan and Tanzanian counterparts not to accept old Kenyan currencies, the Kenyan shilling lost its value by five in both countries.
"The move to withdraw old currency in 120 days is where Njoroge (Patrick, CBK Governor) got zero. They wrote to the Central Bank of Uganda and Tanzania telling them not to accept old notes, immediately the Kenyan Shilling lost value by five in both sides. Right now Kenyan shilling exchanges at 30 Ugandan shillings, from 38. He has devalued our currency yet we are the biggest economy in East Africa," Kobia lamented.