The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has underlined the high usage of cash in Narok County as an ongoing concern ahead of the October 1 demonetization deadline.
According to CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge, the reported heavy use of cash in the purchase of wheat, which coincides with the produce’s harvest season, is the subject of the regulators probing and sits along with its persisting oversight of the demonetization process across the country.
“We have seen an influx of wheat purchases in cash. These transactions are quite a concern to us,” noted Dr. Njoroge.
While the high incident of cash used in the county may be a pointer of the potential for illicit cover-ups, the Maasai community who are the majority inhabitants in the county are known for their likeness of holding on to value in real cash for their day-to-day transactions which largely fair in livestock sales.
In spite of the bias towards real cash by the expansive Narok community, the CBK does not foresee the cash dominance to be an ongoing concern in the run-up to Monday’s deadline on demonetization in the frontier county.
The CBK has backed its far-reaching public sensitization program carried out across the last three months to prompt the transition into the new currency notes.
CBK’s Patrick Njoroge has since toured the county to double-down on the demonetization message with the view of mobilizing the Maa community to take part in the handover of the old series Ksh.1000 notes.
“At the end of September kutakuwa noma (it will be tough), Dr. Njoroge told Narok residents in a tour of the county earlier this month.
According to Dr. Njoroge, the regulator has had to iron out similar concerns in the frontier counties of Garissa and Mandera where traders have a similar high affinity for physical notes.
The disclosure by the banking sector regulator is however against closing walls on the October 1 deadline which sits just days away even as some businesses opt against the acceptance of the old series notes before deadline day.
Meanwhile, the CBK Governor maintains that Monday’s deadline remains cast in stone and will not be extended.
“It is important for all concerned to all they can to ensure the old notes get to us by the close of business on Monday. Every individual can directly convert their notes via banks. Let’s not stand idle lamenting about the problem,” he added.
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