- Rongo Member of Parliament (MP) Paul Abour has proposed the Bill
- COTU claims the bill is passes is a step backwards
- COTU says Such measures discourage individuals and businesses from participating in international trade
The Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya), COTU (K) in a statement has strongly condemned the proposed Forex Hoarding Bill, 2023.
Additionally COTU says the bill which seeks to imprison or fine individuals for ‘hoarding’ foreign currency beyond 45 days, is retrogressive, repressive, and archaic piece of legislation that runs counter to the principles of economic progress and investor-friendly policies that will affect job creation and the freedom of workers.
The Central Organization of Trade Unions believes that Kenya has evolved beyond the era where individuals were required to declare their currencies when traveling in and out of the country.
Forex Hoarding Bill, 2023.
Rongo Member of Parliament (MP) Paul Abour has proposed a Bill seeking to criminalize the hoarding of U.S. dollars in an effort to address the continued depreciation of the Kenyan shilling against the superpower currency.
The proposed law, The Forex Hoarding Criminalization Act 2023, seeks to control the quantity of dollars Kenyans can purchase and the period they can hold on to the cash.
COTU condems the proposed bill
COTU has condemned the proposed bill, saying if passed, would be a step backward, reminiscent of colonial-era practices that stifled individual freedoms and intimidated investment in the country.
”Kenya has made significant strides in its economic development and international trade relations taking in mind that we have witnessed the rise of numerous multi-millionaires and start-ups striving to become unicorns, which is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of our people” further read the statement
COTU message to legislators
COTU (K) has encouraged the parliament of Kenya to come up with legislation that encourage the free and unconditional flow of capital so long as individuals can account for the capital and that the same is not out of money laundering.
”Kenyan banking system allows any worker or investor to have a multi-currency account that can hold any global trading currencies, inter alia, dollars, euros and pounds. COTU (K) believes that punitive measures like those proposed in the Forex Hoarding Bill, 2023, are detrimental to investor confidence.” read the statement partially
COTU (K) further added that such measures discourage individuals and businesses from participating in international trade and currency exchange.