Ruth Mutua puts Justina Wamae to task on bhang pledge

Roots Party deputy presidential candidate Justina Wamae (L) and Agano Party’s Ruth Mutua during the DP candidates’ debate at the CUEA on July 19, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Agano Party deputy presidential candidate Ruth Mutua on Tuesday put her Roots Party counterpart Justina Wamae to task to justify how bhang use and trade will improve the lives of Kenyans.

The two participated in the first tier of the deputy presidential debate on July 19, 2022 held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi.

Mutua wondered how a substance that is illegal in Kenya would gain legality overnight should Justina Wamae and her principal, George Wajackoyah, win the presidency.

“Let’s say the truth, bhang is illegal. We’d love to see how they’ll sell an illegal substance to us. How far can they go with bhang? There’s a young man near a neighbourhood that I lived in some time back, who used to slash grass at 11pm. One day I asked him why he was slashing grass at 11pm, and he said he wanted to reduce the following day’s work in advance,” said Mutua.

In defense of their manifesto, Justina Wamae, who is advocating for legalisation of bhang trade, said their administration (should she and Wajackoyah win the presidency), will only allow bhang for medicinal purposes, and not leisure.

“We wish to run a profitable government, devoid of debts and high taxes,” said Justina Wamae.

Mutua, on her part, said some countries that have legalised bhang for leisure and industries are not doing so well economically despite the Roots Party painting a picture of immense success in bhang trade.

“I have not approved the Roots Party’s manifesto because Jamaica would have been a developed country,” said Mutua.

The Agano deputy presidential candidate at the same time said bhang use could subject the youth to mental challenges if abused.

In her defense, Wamae said: “Most people develop mental health challenges because of the high cost of living and other lifestyle-related factors.”

“The bhang we are advocating for is for industrial purposes, and not for general consumption,” she added.

Some of the fields that she said the bhang would be of help in include the food sector, construction sector and medical world.

Wamae said despite advocating for bhang trade, she’d never smoke marijuana.

“I have never smoked bhang and will never,” said Wamae.