Kenya: Over 2,000 Pastoralists in Tana, Lamu Stuck With Old Currency Notes

Kenya: Over 2,000 Pastoralists in Tana, Lamu Stuck With Old Currency Notes

More than 2,000 pastoralists who had migrated to remote areas of Tana River and Lamu counties are back home and with them Sh1,000 notes that are no longer legal tender.

The herders are now appealing to the Central Bank to open a short window for them to swap their old notes.

The pastoralists, who had been grazing in Witu and Boni in Lamu, say owing to long journeys in the wilderness, they could not get back home in time to beat the September 30 deadline.

CONFRONTATION

In an interview with the Nation, the herdsmen said they were made aware of that their Sh1,000 notes were useless at the weekend when they reached trading centres and tried to pay for services.

“We tried paying for food in a hotel in Minjila, only to be told the money was not valid. It nearly ended in a confrontation with the hotel owner, but someone who understood where we had come from later explained to us what was going on,” noted Mohammed Barisa.

Mr Barisa said about 2,000 pastoralists were still in the hinterlands grazing their cows, unaware of the changes taking place in the country.

TRADING IN OLD NOTES

He noted that the groups of herdsmen left home in February and have no mode of communication or any information regarding the currency changes.

The herders also recounted making huge losses at the weekend to unscrupulous traders who sought to buy livestock from them on their return trip.