June 13, 2024
Embu Leaders Step Up To Defend Farmers As Surge In Muguka Ban Continues

Embu Leaders Step Up To Defend Farmers As Surge In Muguka Ban Continues

The Embu County government has announced that it will take legal action in response to Mombasa County’s recent decree banning the sale, supply, and consumption of the stimulant narcotic khat, also known as muguka.

Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire Mbarire said in a statement on Friday that she will take legal action to defend her community’s livelihoods, which she claims earns over Ksh.22 billion per year from the sale of muguka.

This comes hours after the Kilifi County government followed Mombasa’s lead and implemented a similar restriction.

She urged muguka farmers to keep calm as her administration worked to resolve the issue.

The Embu County boss highlighted legislation that protects the sale and distribution of miraa as a cash crop in the country, claiming that muguka and miraa are inextricably linked because they both come from the same parent plant, khat.

She also emphasized its composition in terms of health issues, stating that muguka is not regarded as a narcotic, which is why it is allowed in the country.  

“Muguka is a variety of Miraa by taste, product and active ingredient which is still cathinone. The crop is actually Khat and Miraa as well as Muguka is the local name for Khat.

“The scheduled crop is Catha edulis which represents all varieties of Miraa which includes Muguka and any other crop that may emerge and contains Catha edulis,” she stated.

“There is no law separating Miraa from Muguka and no single law prohibiting its sale or consumption. Muguka is therefore not a drug.”

Mbarire chastised her Mombasa counterpart, Abdulswamad Nassir, for issuing the instruction despite the two leaders meeting to develop regulations and resolve difficulties concerning the sale and distribution of muguka.

“This comes after we met the Governor of Mombasa and Members of the Mombasa County Assembly on 15th May 2024 where we established a joint working team to ensure compliance with the product’s trade regulations and deal with the issues raised by the Mombasa County Government,” she said.

According to Governor Mbarire, muguka is a dominant business in the Mt. Kenya region and throughout the country for a variety of groups.

Mbarire believes that prohibiting it will have an impact on the incomes of many households and the country as a whole.

“The business of Muguka is multi-ethnic and involves the people of Embu largely as farmers, the people of Meru and Central dominating the business as middlemen and transporters,” she noted.

“Muguka farmers and other players who have invested heavily in the value chain therefore stand to lose in terms of revenue and livelihoods. The Muguka value chain contributes approximately Ksh.1 million to the Mombasa economy per day in transport levies.”

Embu Leaders Step Up To Defend Farmers As Surge In Muguka Ban Continues

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