Activists challenge muguka ban in coastal counties

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 27 May, 2024 17:32 | 2 mins read
Embu leaders, led by Deputy Governor Kinyua Mugo and Embu Women Representative Njoki Njeru, stage a demonstration along the Embu-Meru highway over the Muguka ban in coastal counties. PHOTO/Brian Malila
Embu leaders, led by Deputy Governor Kinyua Mugo and Embu Women Representative Njoki Njeru, stage a demonstration along the Embu-Meru highway over the Muguka ban in coastal counties. PHOTO/Brian Malila

Two activists have moved to court challenging the recent order to ban the sale, supply, and consumption of the stimulant drug popularly known as muguka by Mombasa, Kilifi and Taita Taveta Counties.

Under a certificate of urgency, activists Peter Agoro and Micheal Makarina have urged the Mombasa Constitutional and Human Rights Court to issue conservatory orders suspending the three counties' executive order 1 of 2024 that ban entry, transportation, trade, and consumption of Muguka arguing the directive violates sections of the constitution.

"We also seek an injunction order to be issued restraining the effect and or implementation of the Mombasa, Kilifi, and Taita Taveta counties Executive Order 1 of 2014," Agoro and Makarina seek.

While seeking the court intervention, the two activists stated the three county bosses led by Governor Gideon Mung'aro did not conduct public participation before banning muguka.

The two petitioners argue that the ban on Muguka by the three counties is unconstitutional, illegal, and unlawful as it underscores the complex interplay between public health concerns and economic dependencies in Kenya.

"Despite Mombasa, Kilifi, and Taita Taveta counties having legitimate constitutional mandates to guarantee the safety of their citizens, they ought to have taken the legal procedures before undertaking the ban," the petitioners state.

According to Agoro and Makarina, the mandate to ban a product or service protected through an act of parliament is the sole power of the national government.

"The county governments cannot choose to regulate a product or service by banning it altogether," they contend.

They argue that according to Kenya laws, only Parliament through the National Assembly and Senate can declare a substance narcotic or psychotropic through legislation.

"National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has not declared muguka a narcotic nor banned it. Miraa Regulations 2021 recognizes both miraa and muguka as legitimate crops in Kenya," the duo states in their court papers.

The petitioners also seek several reliefs including a declaration that the Mombasa, Kilifi, and Taita Taveta counties' Executive Order 1 of 2024 is an illegality, irregularity, unconstitutional, null, and void.

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