– A man from Siaya County is counting his losses after failing to turn in his old notes
– Julius Odinga went from grace to grass after banks declined to exchange his old notes amounting to KSh 500,000
– The former mechanic has made two trips to the Central Bank of Kenya in Kisumu but ever since the September 30 deadline hoping his fate will change
Julius Odinga, a retired man from Siaya County is both rich and poor at the same time.
The aging man is overwhelmed by stress and worry as his KSh 500,000 that he partly received from his former employer as a retirement package is now useless.
As Kenyans rushed to meet the September 30 demonetization deadline and turn in their old notes, the worried chap seemed to have missed the mark.
Speaking to NTV, Julius and his family painfully narrated how his wealth disappeared in a blink of an eye.
Like most people living in the rural area, the retired mechanic had bundles of KSh 1,000 notes stashed below his mattress after withdrawing large sums from the bank.
In June, Julius withdrew a whooping KSh 200,000 followed by a subsequent KSh 300,000 withdrawal.
Later, he had a change of heart and decided to have the money converted to new notes as he hoped to open a transport business.
“I went to Kisumu to return the money. They did not have the new notes. Whenever I went to hotels, they often refused to take KSh 1,000 notes,” the distraught man said.
When asked just how he missed the deadline, Julius insisted the banks failed him and did not provide him with the new currency.
However, his sister-in-law had a different tale. To her, the former mechanic did not want his brothers to find out about his fortune.
“There is a day his brother tried to talk him into exchanging the money. Sadly, some guys from the village told Julius his brothers were bound to take away his money if they ever found out he was a wealthy man. He did not want his brothers to know what was going on in his house,” Jackline Atieno said.
In June 2019, The Central Bank of Kenya announced its plan to remove old KSh 1,000 notes from circulation.
To make the demonetisation achievable, a deadline of September 30 was announced and Kenyans were encouraged to surrender their old currency to banks.
The exercise was meant to counter cases of circulation fake notes and illicit financial transactions.
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