Why Mombasa decided to deal with Muguka instead of other substances – Governor

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 27 May, 2024 12:21 | 3 mins read
Mombasa Governor Nassir. PHOTO/ (@A_S_Nassir) / X
Mombasa Governor Nassir. PHOTO/ (@A_S_Nassir) / X.

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir stated that banning Muguka is not the end of bringing sanity and order to the county.

During a recent interview, Mombasa Governor Nassir revealed why he has declared a crackdown on Muguka sales, supply and consumption.

Governor Nassir said khat was too easily available in the area and was owed to cases of mental health problems. 

As the governor noted, some traders had gone as far as selling Muguka to minors, violating laws designed to protect children from the drugs' influence. He said he was tired of people dictating how Mombasa’s narrative should be.

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Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Sheriff Nassir addressing a press conference. PHOTO/Abdulswamad Sheriff Nassir (@A_S_Nassir)/Twitter

Muguka vs Heroin

In response to netizens' comments, Nassir added that, while people would assume an alternative drug would emerge, he would fight heroin with the same zeal if the national government granted him authority.

"I have no power to get into the containers that come in from the port. I have no power to able to search people who are getting into our aircraft in Kenya. I have no powers to put people at international border posts because heroin is not grown locally," Governor Nassir said.

Regarding heroin, he noted that even though it is been abused in his domain, the power to tackle it lies with the national government and not the county government.

With the same passion and enthusiasm that he exhibited in fighting Muguka, Nassir urged the national government to fight heroin as well.

Nassir added that many people have been stereotyping the situation in Mombasa saying that Heroin and Cocaine were prominent in the region, making people become zombies, but according to him, the effects of Muguka were dire.

“Cocaine has not been a major problem. What has always been a problem is heroin, but now Muguka has even surpassed Heroin, in terms of its use and people being affected. And these are figures based on institutions that are there,” Governor Nassir added.

Ban of Muguka

Two months after his election, Nassir increased license fees and pleaded with traders to stop selling Muguka near schools and to children. The traders said they would comply, but that was not followed, forcing him to take action.

According to the Governor, word reached the traders of his planned decision to create a ban, and a task force was set up to speak with those selling Muguka in the region, but they began playing Mickey-Mouse games. They were given enforcement notices on selling to children and they did not comply.

“When you have a product, where two or three children can be able to get their lunch pocket money and access that product easily, then that’s a challenge,” Nassir said.

Mombasa Governor Nassir. PHOTO/ (@A_S_Nassir) / X
Mombasa Governor Nassir. PHOTO/ (@A_S_Nassir) / X

According to the Governor, he said that the conversation on the effect of Muguka on children did not start during his tenure, he just enforced it by pressing the red button, something most people are not pleased with.

"Mark my words. I'm gonna be touching on other peoples' business. Next thing that I'm going to do,  these places called ‘Maeneo’ I am going to pick those people up, they have two choices; jail or rehab," he said.

According to Nassir, even though Muguka was available in Meru as it's a locally grown substance, the region did not instil the stimulant into its children, unlike Mombasa.

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