No coins please, my pockets are more precious
Kenyans are such coin collectors they keep a total of Sh2.5 billion shillings in coppers and silvers in their office drawers, car glove compartments, piggy banks, purses, old shoes and cracked metal cups.
Although this means that Kenyans take care of the coins so that pounds can take care of themselves, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is not amused. According to CBK, this scenario has led to a shortage of coins forcing the cashier at a supermarket near you to issue sweets, ball gum, and matchboxes instead of coins as change.
The Central Bank of Kenya had, as of April this year, distributed 1.2 billion coins worth Sh4.8 billion. That is pretty penny. “Of these coins” said James Teko Lokoyetum, the bank’s Director of Currency Operations, “more than half the pieces are being withheld or hoarded by the public while others are carried away by tourists as souvenirs.” He lamented that “the CBK releases the coins but these never flow back to it.” Money, some wiseacre said, is like manure: It is not worth anything unless you spread it. The Central Bank knows that Sh2.5 billion irritating circular pieces of metal make a difference when injected back into the economy. It is the kind of money that can build a fully-fledged hospital for, instance, just why the bank wants you to change the coins into paper money.