The Bank of Uganda has issued a warning to citizens not to use bank notes as gifts in order to deface the country’s currency.
The trend of florists designing bouquets from bank notes became popularized in recent months in the country.
In the days preceding this year’s national exams, it gained even more attention as parents and guardians gifted these bouquets to their candidate children as a way of wishing them luck.
But the central bank warned on Thursday, stating that such actions are against the law since they damage and mutilate the Uganda Shilling currency.
The Bank’s spokesperson, Kenneth Egesa said, “Florists, designers, gifting stylists, and their clients are particularly cautioned to avoid using currency banknotes and coins in making bouquets or any like creations.”
“This mainly involves the use of brand-new banknotes that are stuck together using glue, cello tape, pins, clips, and other adhesives or fasteners as part of floral bouquets for various social events and gifting ceremonies.”
“This practice destroys the utility of banknotes making them unusable in cash processing and distribution equipment such as cash counting machines and ATMs, which are a critical part of the cash distribution systems. It also results in the premature withdrawal from circulation and replacement of banknotes at an avoidable cost to the public.”
The Bank of Uganda’s statement comes weeks after the Ministry of Education also cautioned parents about these cash gifts to their candidate children.
Hon. John Chrysestom Muyingo, Minister of Higher Education, issued a warning, stating that other students whose parents cannot afford such gifts may become discouraged as a result, and promised to work with the Bank of Uganda to give guidance on this practice.
In a statement released yesterday, the Central Bank stated that although it is not against using cash as a gift, this exchange should follow the normal use of currency to facilitate payment transactions.