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North Eastern MPs support ban on muguka

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 18:02 | By
The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) members during a past meeting. PHOTO/The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG)/Facebook.
The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) members during a past meeting. PHOTO/The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG)/Facebook.

Members of Parliament (MPs) from North Eastern part of the country have supported the move by Coastal Kenya County governors to enforce a ban on muguka.

The lawmakers through the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, issued a statement saying they are in support of the ban on muguka based on its many detrimental effects on the youth and school-going children.

"The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) acknowledges the ongoing debate surrounding the ban on muguka (khat or miraa) in Kenya. While some argue for its legality and economic benefits, as representatives of over 10 million people in the dryland counties of Kenya, we support the ban based on its many detrimental effects on our youth and school-going children," the leaders said in a statement.

Bill on muguka ban

Through their Chairperson Bashir Abdullah, the lawmakers say they are in support of the bill proposed by Kilifi North MP Owen Baya to enforce a total ban on muguka.

"As Pastoralists Parliamentary Group (PPG) we support the total ban of Muguka due to its adverse health effects, especially on our youth. We support the bill by Hon Owen Baya of Kilifi North," Bashir said.

They say muguka consumption has been associated with mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression, making reference to a report by the Mombasa Women Empowerment Rehabilitation Centre which indicated that in Mombasa, at least 80% of mental health problems found on the streets were attributed to overconsumption of muguka.

Muguka effect in homes

The lawmakers also argue that muguka use has been linked to increased rates of domestic violence and social disintegration.

According to the PPG, muguka use also bears significant financial burdens due to healthcare costs associated with treating muguka-related health issues.

"As the PPG, we support Hon. Owen Baya, the Member of Parliament for Kilifi North, who has filed a notice to the Speaker of the National Assembly demanding that the government ban muguka and miraa in Kenya. This initiative aligns with our commitment to safeguarding the welfare of our communities, particularly," the lawmakers said in the statement.

The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) members during a past meeting. PHOTO/The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG)/Facebook.

They argue that they have chosen to prioritize the public health of the people over the profit interests.

They thanked and praised Mombasa and Kilifi County governors for banning muguka in the coastal cities, and encouraged governors from the North Eastern region to follow the course.

"As leaders, we prioritize the public health of the people over the profit interests. We praise and support the governors of Mombasa and Kilifi for banning muguka in the coastal cities and encourage our Governors to ban Muguka in all 15 Counties, too. This ban serves as a necessary step toward protecting our young population from the harmful effects of this dangerous drug," the MPs said.

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