President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday

The coin that excited members of the public the most was the Sh20 piece which will now bear an elephant insignia.

The elephant, or 'ndovu' in Swahili, is the slang term used to refer to a Sh1,000 note in the currency that is being phased out.

Netizens noted the apparent downgrade of the 'ndovu' and jokingly asked the president to consider using the symbol of a hyena for the Sh 20 coin instead.

Bob Ojiambo commented: "What a demotion that the KES 1000 has faced by the stroke of a pen. It now takes over as the lowly KES 20 coin."

Gazette Notice

While launching the coins, President Kenyatta was impressed with new features that will be more useful for the visually impaired.

"I am also informed that the coins contain features that make them more accessible to visually impaired persons and I applaud you for that," he said.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge published a gazette notice authorizing the circulation of the coins soon after the President made the announcement.

A number of active social media users begun circulating images of supposed new notes that were already dispelled as ifake by the CBK.