Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) wants a new 1,000 kwacha note to bear President Bingu wa Mutharika image, Nyasa Times learnt.
RBM Governor Perks Ligoya said the new bank note will be introduced in July to combat rising inflation that has eroded the value of the currency.
Samples of the new bank notes were reported circulated among the top brass of the central bank and showed President Mutharika’s image.
Nyasa Times reported on October 26, 2011 that prominent ruling party cohorts met the ruling DPP presidential candidate Peter Mutharika to suggest that the currency should bear Mutharika’s face and that would boost his 2014 election campaign .
Currently, the notes bear John Chilembwe, Malawi`s first formal nationalist and freedom fighter, but the proposal is to put the incumbent at par with his predecessors Kamuzu Banda and Bakili Muluzi who left their marks on the national notes.
One top government official is said to have proposed that a 1000 kwacha note should be embossed with the President`s face and reprint 500 kwacha notes stamped with the face of Kamuzu Banda.
President Mutharika soon after coming to power in 2004, directed Reserve Bank to stop printing and circulating notes bearing former president Muluzi, who, ironically catapulted him to the corridors of power in United Democratic Front (UDF) before ditching it to form his own party, the DPP, once he settled in government.
The new bank notes are said to be introduced in July, according to Ligoya, who also disclosed that Malawi would also phase out its old K20, K50, K100, K200 and K500 notes.
“We have done this in order to reduce the cost of printing money as the sizes of the currencies have been significantly reduced,” Ligoya said.