Writing on currency notes makes money lose value – BoU

Kampala- Bank of Uganda (BoU) has asked the public to reject any currency notes bearing hand-written political campaign messages, saying such money loses value.
The BoU Governor, Mr Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, said currencies that have stamped, defaced or hand-written messages on them lose their value and cease to be legal tender.

“The public is, therefore, strongly warned against the use of currency notes for any other purpose other than for making or receiving payments and the public is also advised to accept only those notes that bear features as designed by Bank of Uganda,” Mr Mutebile stated.
Unscrupulous people have been writing political campaign messages on currencies to vote for President Museveni or Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, for president in 2021.

The photographs of the currency notes written on “Vote Bobi Wine 20121” or “Vote President Museveni 2021” have been circulating on various social media platforms.

Mr Mutebile’s warning is often enforced by forex bureaux on currency notes such as US dollars, UK Pounds and Euros.

The forex bureaux managers often determine the exchange value of the foreign currencies depending on the age and state of the notes.
The defaced local currency notes could be devalued while banking them, which could be extended to the general public.
Mr Mutebile said writing on currency notes interferes with the security features that are useful in establishing the authenticity of the notes.
Several people have condemned the defacing of the notes, saying it is disrespect of the national currency.

However, government cannot arrest anyone defacing currency notes since there is no law that makes it illegal.

Section 367 of the Penal Code Act only penalised those that deface currency notes to six months in prison or a fine not exceeding Shs2,000 or both.


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