Meru County governor Peter Munya has assured Miraa farmers that he will continue fighting following the ban of miraa in Somalia.
According to the Somali government, the governor is to blame for the ban because he used ”the business to campaign for the breakup of the country.”
On Tuesday evening, Somali Ambassador to Kenya Gamal Hassan said Mr Munya’s visit to Hargeisa in July had caused political pressure in Somalia to have the trade stopped.
Speaking at Maili Tatu on Thursday, the governor said that his first priority remains to fight for miraa farmers.
“Thank you Miraa Farmers for the faith and confidence you have shown in me especially today in Maili Tatu. My first priority has been to fight for you,” said Munya.
“I have on several occasions engaged the national government to secure the markets we already have, to lobby for re-opening of the U.K. and Netherlands market as well as look for new ones.”
He promised the farmers that he will not let them down in soliciting fair taxes for miraa.
“As you are aware, I have also taken personal initiative to soliciting fair taxes for Miraa. We are in this journey together and we shall win it together. I am on your side, I will continue fighting for you and I promise you I will not let you down,” he declared.
In July, Mr Munya travelled to Hargeisa, the capital of Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland, to lobby for easier trade rules for miraa exporters in Kenya in exchange for some form of recognition for Somaliland, Daily Nation reports.
While there, Mr Munya met Somaliland top leadership.
Mogadishu said Mr Munya’s reported comments on the probable independence of Somaliland angered officials and politicians keen to have one united Somalia.
Kenya sends about 540 planeloads of miraa to Somalia each month.