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What judges discovered after visiting KICC in new banknotes case


High Court judges on Thursday visited the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) to establish whether Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s statue is part of the iconic building.

Justices Kanyi Kimondo, Anthony Mrima and Arsenath Ongeri toured the site to try and determine whether it was wrong for the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to include the statue on the new banknotes.

This follows a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah who is challenging the inclusion of Mzee Kenyatta’s statue on the new notes.

Omtatah cites Article 231 (4) of the Constitution, which decrees that Kenyan currency banknotes shall not bear the portrait of any individual.

ANY INDIVIDUAL

The article says: “Notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of Kenya may bear images that depict or symbolise Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but shall not bear the portrait of any individual.”

A measurement was taken and it was established that the distance between the tower and Jomo Kenyatta statue is approximately 80 metres.

The three-judge bench also learnt that the building and the statue were unveiled at a different day.

The building was opened by late President Jomo Kenyatta on September 10, 1973; the statue was unveiled by then Vice-president Daniel arap Moi the next day.

CBK and the Attorney General on their part argue that the statue is part of KICC and there was nothing wrong with putting KICC’s image in the new banknotes.

“The two features can’t be separated. They are one and the same. It is a statue and not a portrait and they stand on the same land number.” says CBK

The judges will give their decision on September 27.