Meru leaders and Miraa farmers have expressed their belief that the stimulant twig serves as a libido booster, and they have called on the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) to remove it from the list of drugs. Their frustration stems from Nacada's recent classification of Khat as the third most abused substance.
Meru Senator and Deputy Senate Speaker, Kathuri Murungi, along with former Igembe North MPs Joseph Eruaki and Joseph Mutuuria, assert that miraa enhances virility and dismiss Nacada's claim that it is a drug. Senator Murungi has now appealed to President William Ruto to intervene in the matter, highlighting the perceived oppression of the Meru people by Nacada.
During a speech at Maua, a major miraa trading centre, Murungi argued that Khat is a product known for boosting libido, pointing to the large population in miraa-growing areas as evidence. He extended an invitation to the chairman and CEO of Nacada to visit Meru and witness firsthand the impact of miraa consumption, countering the claims that it causes infertility.
Murungi proudly stated, "I chew miraa and I have fathered intelligent boys! If you examine the population of Meru, you will notice that Igembe Central has the largest population. Igembe North, Igembe South, Tigania East, and Tigania West also have significant numbers of people." He further emphasised that even the people in Imenti, where he comes from, consume miraa and have a substantial population.
In a show of resistance, the Senator threatened to mobilize people and organize protests at Nacada offices in Nairobi. Murungi has been leading the charge against Nacada, urging President William Ruto to rein in the organization. He disclosed his plans to work on amending the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act, which is believed to hinder exports and investments in the miraa sub-sector, according to various stakeholders.
Murungi said he intends to present his proposals for amending the law, expressing confidence that they will receive support from the Kenya Kwanza coalition, which holds the majority in both the Senate and the National Assembly. "I have already initiated the process of amending the narcotics Act to remove miraa from the list of drugs," he said, asking Ruto to defend Meru people.