MOMBASA, KENYA: More than 300 muguka dealers in Mombasa claimed they were being condemned unheard on the campaign to ban sale of the commodity following reports it has ruined children and youth.
The traders under the umbrella of the Embu community in Mombasa County claimed there was no research to back the claims that some traders were selling the commodity to under-age and youth.
Chairman of the Embu community in Mombasa Kinyua Kigoro argued that some users were known to mix muguka with drugs that ruin them and hence they should not be condemned unheard.
“Muguka comes from Embu County where people have consumed it for ages without any health effects. We are therefore appealing to the Mombasa county assembly health committee to carry out research and establish the truth about muguka consumption and not slap a ban based on rumours,” he said.
He said his team recently met the county assembly health committee on July 30 this year and expect it to come up with an informed recommendation.
Kirogo spoke during a meeting of the community and traders’ representatives in Tudor, Mombasa.
According to the traders, authorities should take action on anyone selling muguka to children rather than condemning the whole lot and making many people including unemployed youth in the business lose a source of livelihood.
Last month, Mombasa county inspectorate descended on muguka outlets particularly at Tononoka and destroyed them. Close to 80 stalls were flattened as the county moved to scuttle the sale of the highly addictive stimulant.
The muguka' traders later took to the streets in protest after being ejected from Tononoka grounds.
Muguka is a stimulant closely related to miraa (khat), but cheaper than the latter. There have been calls for its ban in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties over claims it is ruining the youth.