The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) rolled out the new generational notes, complete facing out the old 1,000 banknotes.
The deadline to replace all the old 1,000 banknotes was on the 30th of September with more than 7 billion shillings left uncollected.
The new denominations in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 shillings are to run alongside the old ones the CBK faces them off gradually.
Now, here comes the problem; as CBK creates more 1 shilling coins, consumers are increasingly refusing to use them.
Have you ever gone to a shop and the shopkeeper told you that they don’t accept 1 shilling coins?
In most parts of the country, consumers are avoiding the coin with those we interviewed say that the coin has lost value.
In some parts of Kisumu City, even the 5 shilling coin is being rejected by some traders. The 1 shilling coin is becoming rare in the region by the day.
In Nairobi, the only place where the coin is easily accepted is either in the supermarket or the bank.
“Every time I have more than 100 shillings in 1 shilling coins, I take them to the supermarket to buy something,” said one shopper we found shopping Naivas Supermarket (Ruaraka branch).
The pricing of most products is making it hard for the 1 shilling coin to survive. Currently, the majority of price tags end with a zero (0) or a five (5) giving no room to the coin.
Some supermarkets are not even giving out 1 shilling coins as a change to customers. Some have packets of sweets at the counter to issue as “change” in the event coins are involved.
“The 1 shilling coin has lost value. The cost of living is high and the shilling will soon have nothing to buy,” said Mr. James Kaitano, a shopkeeper at Allsopps, Outering Road.
One of the main reasons Kenyans are giving for not accepting the shilling is the continuous change in the cost of living.