INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW MALAWI KWACHA CURRENCY SERIES
The Reserve Bank of Malawi will on 23rd May, 2012 release a new family of banknotes and coins which will comprise of six banknote denominations of K1000, K500, K200, K100, K50 & K20 and three coins of K10, K5 & K1.
The themes on the new family of banknotes largely focus on the long-term objectives outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) namely, Sustainable Economic Growth, Social Development, Infrastructure Development and Good Governance. The K1000 note will feature the Mzuzu maize silos, K500 note the Mulunguzi Dam, while the K200, K100 and K50 notes will feature the new Parliament Building, the College of Medicine in Blantyre, the Kasungu National Park and the Domasi Teachers College respectively.
Following wide consultations, six prominent Malawians of historic significance were identified and their portraits will appear on the new Malawi Kwacha Banknotes as follows:
K1000 – Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, 1898-1997 â€“ Father and Founder of the Malawi nation and first President of independent Malawi.
K500 – Reverend Mr. John Chilembwe, 1871-1915 â€“Widely recognised as the first freedom fighter in Malawi.
K200 – Mrs Rose Lomathinda Chibambo, 1928Â to dateÂ Â â€“ The first Chairperson of theÂ Nyasaland African Congress Womenâ€™s League and the first only female member of independent Malawiâ€™s first cabinet in 1964.
K100 – Mr. James Frederick Sangala, 1900-1974 â€“ the founder of the Nyasaland African Congress who campaigned relentlessly for national
unity in Malawi in the 1940s.
K50 – Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani II.Â Philip Zitonga Maseko, 1921-1954 â€“ He was the most development conscious paramount chief the Southern or Maseko Ngoni had during the colonial period.Â He mobilised his people to oppose the Federation ofÂ Nyasaland and Rhodesia, was deposed and
exiled for that reason, and died in exile as a martyr while defending the dignity and freedom of his people.
K20 – Inkosi ya Makhosi Mâ€™mbelwa II (Lazalo Mkhuzo Jere), 1915-1959 â€“ He was the most powerful and fearless leader the Northern or Jere
Ngoni have had since settling in northern Malawi. He too led his people to oppose the imposition of the Federation in the early 1950s.
In the late 1950s, he mobilised the people of Mzimba District to rally behind the Nyasaland African Congress, its leader Dr H. Kamuzu Banda,
and the movement for national independence.
The obverse of all the coins will depict the Malawi Government Coat of Arms while the reverse will feature the following wild life:
K1Â Â -Â Â flying eagle.
K5Â Â -Â Â the stock bird
K10 -Â Â two elephants.
The sizes of the notes have been trimmed by more than 30 percent on average. The diameters of the coins have been made smaller and the
weights have been reduced by over 60 percent on average for easy portability.
2. TRANSITIONAL PERIOD AND EXCHANGE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NEW CURRENCY
The new banknote series will run side by side with the old series for a period of one year from 23rd May, 2012 to 22 May, 2013 after which
the old series shall be withdrawn from circulation and cease to be legal tender. During this period exchange of old and new notes will be
done at all commercial banks throughout the country.Â After 22 May, 2013 an additional three months exchange period will be provided
during which the old notes will be exchanged with new notesÂ at the Reserve Bank of Malawi only, with justification why the notes were not
exchanged during the prescribed one year period.
The above notwithstanding, the old K1, K5 and K10 coins will circulate simultaneously with the new coins until such time as the Reserve Bank
of Malawi announces their withdrawal from circulation.
3. PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM
The Bank will soon embark on a public awareness campaign that will cover every corner of the country aimed at sensitising the general public on the general features of the new currency series and more importantly security features to protect them from being cheated by counterfeiters.
CHARLES S.R. CHUKA
17 May 2012