VIDEO: Eric Omondi’s cash in gunia stunt upsets online users; we explore whether what he did is illegal

Comedian Eric Omondi has attracted controversy yet again.

This time round Mr Omondi posted a video to his Instagram page, showing him collecting a stockpile of Ksh100 notes scattered on the ground and putting the money in a sack [gunia]. He was using a shovel to move the money.

Donning army attire, Mr Omondi was in the company of three other people, including a man who was helping him collect the cash. Two women were holding the gunia as they watched money being put into the sack.

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A section of online users felt Mr Omondi was committing a wrong under regulation on use and defacement of currency.

Simba Wani said: “Eric Omondi, you don’t handle money like that.”

MC Daniels said: “This young man [Eric Omondi] is showing disrespect to an important State symbol (money). He should be locked up.”

David Obwama said: “Is money supposed to be treated in such a manner?”

Gaichi Ngae said: “Eric, you are supposed to be funny, not gloat.”

Jive BM said: “You can do better with your brains, brother. You are not respecting our currency.”

Collo Limli said: “It seems that we don’t have laws in Kenya.”

Following claims by a section of Kenyans that Mr Omondi broke a regulation under use and defacement of currency, EDAILY sought to find out what the law says.

Regulations published on November 21, 2008 and printed on December 9, 2008 decree that: “No person shall make use images of currency or images of currency notes or coins for publication or promotion or other purposes without prior written approval of the CBK; the written application to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will have to state the nationality of the person or company and the purpose for which the images are intended to be used. Such an application shall be considered within fourteen days by the CBK.”

The law further says it is criminal to deface or mutilate currency notes under whatever circumstances.

Mr Omondi, based on the recording posted to his Instagram, was not “mutilating” or “defacing” the Ksh100 notes.

Passed in 1966, three years after Kenya’s independence and disgruntled white settlers mutilated currency notes bearing the images of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta, the law was passed by Parliament making it unlawful to deface, tear, cut or otherwise mutilate any currency note. Doing so made one liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to a fine not exceeding two thousand shillings or to both.

Eric Omondi captioned the video: “The big scoop; tomorrow [Tuesday, July 17] at 4pm on YouTube.”

It seems the comedian was hyping one of his shows or productions.

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