Why Mombasa & Kilifi Counties banned muguka

Why Mombasa & Kilifi Counties Banned Muguka

Why Mombasa & Kilifi Counties Banned Muguka

Muguka is said to be among the leading substances being abused in the coastal county. This has been attributed to the rising cases of rehabilitation in mental health institutions. According to recent surveys and data by local organizations, many of those affected are between the ages of 15 and 25 years, jobless, and depressed. The substance serves as a means of escape. Muguka is readily available as it is cheaper compared to beer or miraa.

Governor Abdulswamad cracks the whip

The executive order gazetted on May 22nd, by Governor Abdulswamad, has resulted in a ferocious crackdown, in the CBD and outskirts of Mombasa like Likoni and Miritini, to stop any entry or distribution of the drug.

Abdulswamad has defended his move saying that he did his due diligence through community forums and he is well within his mandate. He also checked in with government agencies like NACADA for further consultations.

We have seen gangs emerging because of muguka and miraa. We are pleading with the Deputy President to deal with the crop the same way he is dealing with alcohol,” Mishi Mboko said.

Last week, 6 legislators from Mombasa County addressed the media at Parliament buildings. They claimed that the two stimulant cash crops are drugs and therefore measures must be taken to curb addiction. The MPs said there was a need to amend the law to categorize the two cash crops as drugs. The legislators were: Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Mohammed Zamzam (Mombasa Woman Rep), Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Machele Mohamed Soud (Mvita), and Mohamed Faki (Mombasa Senator).

Despite uproar from traders who said it is a source of livelihood for many families, the Governor insisted that he prioritized public good above personal benefits and interests. On the issue, he was categorical on his threat that he made good yesterday, giving a 7-day notice tp traders and users of the stimulant.

“.. By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, I do hereby order that there be a total prohibition on the entry, transportation, distribution, sale and use of Muguka and all its products within Mombasa County..” read the executive order in part.

There are new by-laws, passed by the county assembly, where Miraa lorries are to pay a minimum levy of 8, 000. Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi with his deputy, had earlier in the week paid Abdulswamad Nassir a courtesy call to lobby for a reduction of the levy to 6, 000 but it seems it bore no tangible fruit as the ban also covers miraa.

Governor Munga’ro Bans Muguka in Kilifi

Just a day after Mombasa Governor, Abdulswamad defended his order to ban Muguka in the county, his Kilifi counterpart followed suit. He issued similar orders prohibiting the sale, distribution, and use of Muguka in the county. Governor Mung’aro ordered all enforcement officers to ensure that Executive Order Number 1 of 2024 is in full force.

The order clarified that there be a total prohibition on the entry, transportation, distribution, sale, and use of Muguka and its products within Kilifi County borders.

“County departments and their agencies are directed to enforce this order without exception,” reads part of the order.

We are yet to see the effect of the ban in the coming few days but the county government will also suffer losses from licences and permits. The ripple effect will also be felt in the neighbouring counties which depend on the Mombasa market and route. Miraa alone brings in billions in exports each financial year, with Somalia being the biggest importer of the drug.

The U.K. banned the importation and sale of the stimulant about a decade ago.