Mombasa Woman Representative calls for regulation of miraa and ban on muguka

By Harun Mugambi

Mombasa Woman Representative, Zamzam Mohamed Chimba, has made a firm call for the regulation of miraa and an outright ban on muguka in the county.

Addressing the press on Tuesday 21 May, Chimba expressed her unwavering stance against the unregulated consumption of these stimulants, which she says have detrimental effects on the youth.

Chimba highlighted the plight of young men who, she says, have become like zombies, unable to secure employment and spending their days chewing miraa and muguka.

“Miraa must be regulated but muguka must be banned,” she adamantly stated.

The Woman Representative drew attention to the situation in Tanzania, where miraa is prohibited, suggesting that Kenya should prioritize the welfare of its young people over its appetite for foreign currency.

“In Tanzania, miraa is not being sold. If you are found with miraa, you are jailed for life…that is why we should look at the effects on Kenyans,” added Chimba.

Chimba pledged to tirelessly defend the rights of Mombasa residents by supporting the efforts to combat the proliferation of muguka and enforcement of stringent regulations on miraa.

” We can regulate, the time and age limit on when and where should miraa be sold,” Chimba said.

She vowed to rally her colleagues to push amendments which would lead to the ban on muguka in Mombasa and regulate the sale of and consumption of miraa in the Coastal town.

“We can have regulations so as to have a sober nation,” Chimba continued to maintain her staunch support on the issue.

The lawmaker also criticized Meru and Embu leaders following their recent protest after Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir proposed to regulate the miraa and muguka businesses.

According to Chimba, the regions where miraa is grown have not experienced similar effects as Mombasa and thus the leaders have no moral authority to push for the sale of the stimulants in the Coastal city as it is destroying the livelihoods of families.

“They can grow other crops and we shall allow them to bring them in Mombasa,” she emphasized her stringent stance.

This call for regulation and ban comes amid a legal tussle where traders have sued Mombasa County for ‘unfair’ miraa tax laws.

The traders argue that the devolved unit has singled out miraa traders for differential and discriminatory treatment, making them liable to harassment.

The decision by Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir to increase the levy on miraa and muguka has also rattled farmers and traders in Meru County who are now asking President William Ruto to intervene.

As the debate continues, the future of miraa and muguka in Mombasa hangs in the balance, with the potential for significant impacts on the local economy and the livelihoods of those involved in the trade.

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