Kiraitu markets Miraa at Devolution Conference

Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi and his CECs after arrival at Kisumu airport ahead of annual Devolution Conference (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

KAKAMEGA, KENYA: Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has vowed to utiliSe the forum provided by Devolution Conference to market miraa (Khat).

Kiraitu who spoke to the Standard in Kisumu said miraa had joined the league of other cash crops and needed to be embraced nationally.

Miraa market has in the recent past faced huddles following its ban in select European countries following its classification as a drug.

In Kenya, Kwale County is contemplating banning the use of the plant after a motion was introduced in the assembly over the ban. There are also reports that some leaders in Garissa County were contemplating sponsoring a motion to ban use of miraa in the county, which the Governor said was within his knowledge.

Kiraitu said he was aware of the huddles facing his county’s main income earner, and that he will be using the opportunity provided by the devolution conference in Kakamega to market it and engage the MCAs from the counties where the use of the plant is threatened.

“We will be having a lot of meetings on the sidelines of the conference, and I hope to meet leaders from the two counties, as well as lobby for the bailout of miraa farmers by the national government,” he said.

The Governor said even though he will not have a chance to address the conference, he will use other networks such as the National Miraa Taskforce Business, and other forums to channel issues facing the crop.

He said the county has since identified new markets in Egypt, Sudan, Congo and other middle East Countries as well as African countries, which he said would cushion the market lost in Europe.

At least 6, 000 delegates are expected at the devolution conference which is set to be officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta.