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Inside CS Matiang’i plans to end Kenya’s miraa ban in Somalia

Interior Cabinet Secretary(CS) Fred Matiang’i has revealed that the government of Kenya has stepped up talks with her Somalia counterpart to resolve the miraa impasse.

Speaking on Monday, November 2 when he met traders from Meru County, CS Matiang’i said that he is in consultation with fellow CSs in seeking to have the ban on Kenyan khat in the Eastern African nation lifted.

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“I am in talks with my fellow CSs Amb. Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs), Peter Munya (Agriculture), and Monica Juma (Defence) to find an immediate solution to the issue,” said CS Matiang’i during a meeting which Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi attended.

CS Fred Matiang'i when he met Miraa farmers and traders from Meru County
CS Fred Matiang’i when he met Miraa farmers and traders from Meru County
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi addresses miraa farmers and traders from Meru County when they met CS Fred Matiang’i

In March, 2020 the government of Somalia banned international flights, which included miraa planes from Kenya, as part of its efforts to contain the novel coronavirus.

Somalia, just like other countries, banned any form of gathering of people as it imposed social distancing rules. Since Miraa is picked by hand and people enjoy it in a group, the government argued that it could help spread COVID-19.

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The ban has seen Miraa traders record a cumulative loss of  Sh5 billion a day.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has in September urged miraa farmers and other stakeholders not to allow politicians to incite them into staging protests as the government is looking into ways of resolving the impasse amicably.

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Miraa is a leaf that has a stimulant called alkaloid cathinone which causes excitement among users.

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