Petitioners Challenge Ban on Muguka in 3 Counties

May 28, 2024
Embu leaders protest muguka ban along the Embu-Meru highway at Ena area in Embu on Saturday, May 25, 2024.

Businessmen Peter Odhiambo Agoro and Michael Mutembe Makarina have filed a petition against three counties for banning the trade and consumption of Muguka.

This comes days after Mombasa, Kilifi, and Taita Taveta implemented a ban on the entry, transportation, sale, and use of Muguka and its products.

Agoro and Makarina argue that Muguka is not considered a drug and is therefore legal in the country. They contend that NACADA has not classified Muguka as a narcotic or prohibited it, pointing out that the Miraa regulations of 2021 recognize both Miraa and Muguka as legitimate crops in Kenya.

“Muguka is a variety of Miraa in taste, product, and active ingredients, which still contain cathinone. There is no law distinguishing Miraa from Muguka, and no law prohibiting its sale or consumption,” they submitted.

The two petitioners state that there was no public participation in the decision, adding that the power to ban a product or service protected by an act of parliament lies solely with the national government.

They further argue that county governments cannot unilaterally regulate without following legal procedures before implementing a ban.

“According to Kenyan law, only parliament through the national assembly and senate can declare a substance narcotic or psychotropic through legislation,” court papers read.

Agoro and Makarina are seeking a declaration from the court that the ban is illegal and unconstitutional. They also request the court to prohibit the three county governments from implementing the ban.

Meanwhile, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot asserts that counties lack the authority to regulate the distribution of muguka.

In a statement issued on Monday, the senator emphasized that while such an initiative may be commendable, it must undergo the legislative process before implementation.

“It’s a noble thing for the coastal counties to seek to regulate the distribution of Muguka in their turf. However, truth is counties have NO such powers,” he said.

“The best thing is for the counties to lobby their MPs to present before parliament a bill seeking to ban the use of gokss.”

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