Following the recent release of the new Malawi series of banknotes and coins, the Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) have made a complaint to the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) stating that “the visually impaired community are finding it difficult to differentiate between the banknotes”.
The banknotes do not have features which are easily recognisable to visually impaired people. Ezekiel Kumwenda, MUB director, stated “If not for the features, we were able to differentiate the old currencies by their sizes, which is not the case with the new banknotes. The sizes are the same and we cannot recognise the features”. Banknote denominations are often identified by their size, usually increasing in size with their value.
The MUB has criticised the RBM, saying that it rushed to introduce the new series and did not consult with the MUB before the release, as was originally expected. This has been dismissed by RBM spokesperson Ralph Tseka, who has argued that the union was fully consulted before it introduced the notes.
MUB director Kumwenda advises that the union will meet in due course to deliberate and release a press statement.