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Blow to Muguka and Miraa Traders as Mombasa MPs Enforce Supply Ban.

In a bold move, Mombasa’s lawmakers have called for a total ban on the supply of Muguka and Miraa within the county, setting the stage for a significant clash with their counterparts in Meru and Embu.

During a press conference at Parliament Buildings, six legislators from Mombasa County labeled these stimulant cash crops as drugs, asserting that they ruin the lives of Kenyans. They emphasized their firm stance, stating they are not open to negotiations with Embu and Meru leaders on this issue.

“There is a need to amend the law to categorize Miraa and Muguka as drugs,” said Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi. “Miraa is a cash crop, but we all know it is a drug. If we want to address drug addiction in this country, then we must tackle this matter.”

The press conference included remarks from other prominent Mombasa MPs: Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Mohammed Zamzam (Mombasa Woman Rep), Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Machele Mohamed Soud (Mvita), and Mohamed Faki (Mombasa Senator). Their comments align with Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir’s push to ban Miraa and Muguka businesses near schools.

Despite Miraa’s significant contribution to Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings, particularly with over Sh50 billion generated since exports to Somalia resumed in July 2022, Mombasa MPs argue that the negative social impact outweighs the economic benefits. They cited issues such as youth being drawn into criminal gangs due to the consumption of these stimulants.

Efforts by elected leaders from Embu and Meru to find a resolution have so far been unsuccessful. Miraa traders were notably impacted in 2020 when Somalia, a key market, imposed a ban on exports. The region has struggled to find new markets after the UK banned the commodity over a decade ago.

Mombasa lawmakers insist their demand is driven by concern for the well-being of Kenyans, not politics. Likoni MP Mishi Mboko highlighted the link between these crops and youth criminal activities. “We have seen gangs emerging because of Muguka and Miraa. We are pleading with the Deputy President to address this issue as rigorously as he is tackling alcohol,” she said.

In light of this, Mombasa MPs are urging communities that grow Muguka and Miraa to switch to cultivating potatoes and other valuable crops, positioning their stance as a move towards promoting healthier and more economically beneficial agricultural practices.


Article By Suzy Nyongesa.


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