March 7, 2013

CURRENCY RECALL: Insufficient Information Hindering Process

Louis Kasekende
Louis Kasekende, Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda

The Bank of Uganda has announced plans to step up sensitization among the public to ease the process of a recall of the old currency notes, which it declared three months ago.

In December 2012, the central bank said it was recalling the bank notes issued before the year 2010. However, it has emerged that sections of the public are not adequately informed about the process, a situation that could lead many to lose their money. The recall is planned to last until December when the notes would cease to be legal tender.

One of the concerns by a section of the people using the money is that they were confusing the recently issued 1,000 shillings coin designed to commemorate Uganda’s 50 years after independence with the 100 shillings coins. Some people say the identity problem increases especially in poorly lit environment. Ambrose Ecel, a resident of Bukoto, a Kampala suburb said he is among those who are not aware about the recall and need sensitization.

Louis Kasekende, the Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda has admitted that they would increase the level of information dissemination to public about the recall process and the specific bank notes targeted.

Despite the reported confusion that a section of the public is experiencing in differentiating the 100 and 1,000 shillings coins, Kasekende said the recall was yielding results. He said without giving figures that the percent that has been recalled was more than the amount of the old notes that was issued in circulation.

He explained that the old currency notes supposed to be returned in exchange with new notes are in the denominations of shillings 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 that were printed before the year 2010 adding that the 10000 shillings printed to commemorate CHOGM was also included for the recall.

He asked members of the public to return the old notes to their commercial bank between now and end of May after which only Bank of Uganda would be able to exchange the old notes. He however warned that no further exchange of the old currency would occur after December 2013 meaning whoever would still be in possession of the notes loses the value.

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