More trouble looms for muguka traders as the three northeastern counties of Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera hint at joining the coastal counties in imposing a ban....READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

This comes as Kwale County is set to become the first county in the coastal strip to take the war against muguka and miraa to punitive heights with the introduction of new levies that will become law this week.

Businessmen engaging in the trade will now have to contend with increases of levies by up to more than 100%.

The green leafy stimulant has been the subject of back and forth between coastal counties and the miraa and muguka growing counties of Meru and Embu. W

hile Mombasa and Kilifi counties have declared a ban on the stimulant, Kwale County has upped the resistance with measures aimed at striking where it hurts the most for the traders of the stimulant.

The finance bill for Kwale County 2024 has proposed a significant change in the levies charged to traders dealing in both miraa and muguka.

When the bill is assented to, those willing to continue trading in the commodities will now have to pay fifty thousand shillings for single business licenses and permits, up from the current 10,000 shillings.

The levy to be charged for offloading muguka and miraa in the county will also be exponentially increased.

The cost of offloading one pickup of the stimulants, which would cost 10,000 shillings, will now be 80,000 shillings.

A probox load of the product will now cost 60,000, up from 10,000, a Canter load of the crop will now cost a business person 100,000 to offload a consignment, while a lorry weighing over 15 tonnes will cost 300,000 shillings to be offloaded in Kwale.

The charges will also be increased for smaller transporters of muguka and miraa. A motorbike load will now cost 30,000, up from 3,000 shillings, while a sack of the same will move from 2,500 to 20,000. A new category of tuk-tuk will cost 40,000 per load to offload in the county.

The levies are one measure of trying to limit the use of the stimulant in the county. But even before the levies are legalized and effected, the move is raising mixed reactions in the county.

In the midst of these spirited attempts to control and limit the use of muguka, the counties producing the stimulant are also fighting back.

Embu Governor Cecil Mbarire insists that a middle ground must be found to save the business.

Cecil Mbarire, Governor, Embu: “Our economy has been under attack following the ban of the transport, sale, and use of the products. We held a meeting to ensure that normalcy is restored.”

The muguka and miraa debate is now moving beyond the coastal counties, with leaders from northern Kenya now joining in and throwing their weight behind their coastal counterparts.

They are warning the government against applying double standards in the fight against drugs and substance abuse, while at the same time hinting at going the way of the coastal counties in dealing with the stimulant up north….CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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