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Nassir alleges state cruelty over muguka ban

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir (right) with Kisauni MP Rashid Benzimba at the governor's radio station in Mombasa County on Wednesday 29th May 2024, where he said his businesses are being targeted because of his Muguka ban. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir has accused the Kenya Kwanza regime of using state agencies to frustrate his businesses.

The governor says his stand against the sale of muguka in the county could have led to his woes.

Nassir said Wednesday's raid at his Coast-based radio station was part of a scheme deployed by agents of the State to persecute him after he banned the stimulant.

He has vowed not to bow to pressure.

On May 22, through an executive order, Nassir banned the entry, distribution, sale, and consumption of muguka or its products within Mombasa.

Later, President William Ruto overruled the county boss insisting that muguka was classified as a cash crop in the country. Ruto said he had reached out to Nassir and other Coast leaders.

On Wednesday, six trucks full of muguka forcefully gained entry into Mombasa despite several roadblocks mounted at Changamwe by the county enforcement officers.

Nassir said the six lorries declined to pay cess at Bonje Weight Bridge and a county enforcement officer was assaulted at the roadblock.

“We will not be cowards. If you plan to close, close all of them. Why do you want our children to be destroyed by a substance sending them to rehabilitation centres?"

"If you think the court orders will be the end of the conversation, you are wrong. It will not be,” said Nassir, who suspended a press conference to rush to the studios of Radio Rahama, his station, to stop the raid.

A group of people claiming to be from the Kenya Revenue Authority on Wednesday stormed the radio station and threatened to confiscate equipment and signal satellites over alleged unpaid tax arrears.

“Intimidation will not work. This is not my battle but a battle of the whole Coast region. This is a war of those people with their children admitted to Portreitz rehabilitation centre,” said Nassir.

He said four court cases have upheld the ban on muguka from being sold in Mombasa, short of an order from Embu High Court that lifted the ban.

“This is not my battle. I speak on behalf of millions from the Coast region. People think we should be intimidated by using foul language. This ban will not end here no matter how much we talk. We shall continue. You can take away everything but we shall not stop,” said Nassir. 

Likoni MP Mishi Mboko said Ruto needs to make a balanced decision that will factor in the health of the people of Mombasa and farmers from Embu.

She said the president should support the ban of muguka like just like was the case with illicit brew in the Mt Kenya region.

“We have fought the hard drugs and we will continue to fight. We are reducing the supply of muguka. It has caused a lot of health issues for our children. We want the president to consider us and respect us,” said Nassir.

Kilifi county assembly speaker Teddy Mwambira said Ruto should have involved the coastal leaders before lifting the ban.

“We are here to support Nassir over the intimidation. The governor placed a ban on behalf of the people. We shall proceed to court to challenge the lifting orders. Why did the president speak with the Embu leaders without involving us?” said Mwambire.

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