The Embu County government is moving to court to block the ban on the sale, supply, and consumption of the stimulant drug khat, popularly known as muguka by Mombasa County.

The Embu County administration has announced that it will take legal action in response to Mombasa County's recent decree banning the sale, supply, and consumption of the stimulant narcotic khat, also known as muguka.

PHOTO | COURTESY Governor Cecily Mbarire

In a statement issued hours after the Kilifi County government imposed a similar ban, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire said she would take legal action to preserve the lively hood of her people

She urged muguka farmers to keep calm while her government worked to resolve the issue.

“The muguka value chain is estimated to contribute approximately Ksh.22 billion per year to the economy of Embu. Muguka farmers and other players who have invested heavily in the value chain therefore stand to lose in terms of revenue and livelihoods,” Mbarire said.

PHOTO | COURTESY Mombasa County boss Abdulswamad Nassir

“The County Government of Embu and County Assembly of Embu have engaged their legal teams to move to court and seek guidance on the matter. I urge muguka farmers and players in the value chain to exercise calm as we seek avenues to resolve this stalemate.”

Mbarire highlighted legislation that protects the sale and distribution of miraa as a cash crop in the country, claiming that muguka and miraa are inextricably linked since they both come from the same parent plant, khat.

PHOTO | COURTESY Muguka Farmer

She also emphasized its composition in terms of health issues, stating that muguka is not regarded as a narcotic, which is why it is allowed in the nation.

Mbarire criticized Abdulswamad Nassir for issuing the instruction despite the two leaders meeting to develop rules and resolve difficulties concerning the sale and distribution of muguka.