Kenya on Monday retired its old one thousand shilling note in a demonetization process that started four months ago.

Central Bank Governor, Dr. Patrick Njoroge, says the bank hopes to mop up 217 million US Dollars, the total amount of the old one thousand shilling notes that were in circulation.

The exercise according to the bank is meant to rid the country of illicit financial flows, tax evaders, as well money launderers who include terrorism financiers.

A spot-check by SABC News through various retail outlets in the capital Nairobi shows that retailers have been rejecting old notes in the past few days for fear of failing to beat Monday’s deadline.

Those with $20 000 could only exchange it at the Central Bank – many it seems did not wait until the last minute to exchange the money.

“I don’t have any old notes at the moment, in the morning I had about thirty, 30 000 Kenya shillings but I have already taken it to the bank,”  says Mobile Money Agent, Beatrice Muthoni.

The Central Bank of Kenya announced the demonetization in June this year. The aim is to rid the country of dirty money.

“The first week, the first month when they announced that’s when they used to bring a lot like you’d see a customer with a hundred thousand, eighty thousand,” adds Muthoni.

“This move is going to assist the government with its entrusted agencies to detect those people who are in possession of money they are not able to account fully the source of that money,” says Economist  Samuel Nyamemo.

The Central Bank has announced that it will give an update on the success of the exercise on Wednesday this week.