June 13, 2024
Third Coastal County Bans Muguka As Embu Leaders Stage Protests

Third Coastal County Bans Muguka As Embu Leaders Stage Protests

The fight against Muguka, a popular stimulant leaf in the country, is set to continue, with Taita Taveta becoming the third county in Kenya to prohibit its sale and distribution. 

Speaking on Sunday, the county’s Governor, Andrew Mwadime, stated that he had followed the lead of his fellow Governors on the Coast in banning the stimulant, despite the resistance from traders. 

Mwadime claimed that the county’s youth were addicted to the stimulant and as a result were unproductive. 

“A huge number of youth consuming Muguka in the county have turned to be unproductive and over-dependent at an alarming rate”.

“In view of this and efforts to safeguard generations, I therefore, ban entry, transportation, distribution, sale and consumption of Muguka within the county,” stated Governor Mwadime.

Abdulswamad Sherrif and Gideon Mung’aro, governors of Mombasa and Kilifi, implemented the ban in their respective counties in recent days. 

On Thursday, Nassir issued the decree at Port Reitz Hospital in Mombasa, emphasizing the widespread use of the stimulant drug on the Coast, including among school-aged children.

However, following the two counties’ ban, Embu County, which is primarily the largest supplier of Muguka, expressed displeasure with the decisions and threatened to appeal them.

According to an analysis conducted by AfricasNow, this prohibition may have far-reaching economic and social consequences.

This could cost farmers up to Ksh1 billion per month, reducing revenue streams in Mombasa and Embu counties by more than Ksh300 million each.

The figure is based on the daily delivery of 36,000 kilogrammes of Muguka to Mombasa, at prices ranging from Ksh500 to Ksh1,000 per kilogramme.

Meanwhile, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua has urged the government to resolve the contradiction in the sale of Muguka and Miraa Regulations 2021, citing Kenyan regulations that recognize Miraa and Muguka as legitimate crops.

To distinguish between the two, miraa has a juicy succulent stem that is chewed, whereas Muguka is a short shrub with edible leaves but no stem. 

Muguka is produced in Embu County, whereas miraa is primarily grown in Meru County.

A group of Embu leaders has expressed concern about the muguka ban in Kilifi and Mombasa, alleging trade sabotage. 

They argue that there is no significant difference between muguka and miraa and demand that traders be provided with scientific and legal information. 

Embu Deputy Governor Justus Mugo believes “interested parties” are attempting to sabotage the business. 

The county has vowed to go to court on Monday and seek orders barring the suspension of the Kilifi and Mombasa governors.

The deputy governor criticized Meru leaders for “distancing” themselves. Muguka is primarily produced in Embu, whereas miraa is commonly grown in Meru. 

“Meru county leaders should realise that we also have our brothers from Meru who are farming and in muguka business here in Embu, and we should unite for justice for our people,” he said.

The Meru leadership intends to file a petition to have muguka and miraa classified as separate crops, he said.

Third Coastal County Bans Muguka As Embu Leaders Stage Protests

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