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February 20, 2019

Machakos executive, MCAs lock horns over county jobs

Booming business of miraa and mugoka at tononoka grounds August 8th 2017/file
Booming business of miraa and mugoka at tononoka grounds August 8th 2017/file


Mombasa MCAs have denied sanctioning the demolition of stalls belonging to miraa traders at Tononoka and demanded an explanation from those who conducted the destruction.


Assembly chief whip Charles Kitula on Wednesday said the demolition had pushed out of business hundreds of youth who depend on selling muguka for survival. 

He criticised the county inspectorate officers for demolishing the kiosks, yet the assembly was in the process of making laws to guide the trade.

“We want to know who authorised the demolition of those kiosks yet we have not even discussed the matter in the house,” Kitula said.

Kitula spoke during the afternoon session when the demolition was discussed.

Session chair Rafael Bwire ordered the stop of the demolition pending debate on the motion.

The assembly is waiting for a report on a research being conducted by the health committee to be tabled before the motion is discussed.

Bwire who is the Junda MCA said the assembly will summon inspectorate department bosses to explain why they demolished the kiosks.

“The demolitions must be stopped,” Bwire said.

Inspectorate officers on Monday demolished muguka and miraa selling kiosks at Tononoka saying the structures were illegal.

"They are supposed to be selling at the Kongowea market. Not here," an askari said as the demolitions went on.

Several traders were also arrested.

The traders claimed there was foul play in the demolitions, saying the pay daily rates of Sh30 to the county government.

Nominated MCA Moses Aran said the proposed ban on muguka and miraa sale should be handled with sobriety.

“We have many youths who have created employment because of muguka and miraa sale. We should weight the advantages against the disadvantages of any measures we plan to take,” Aran said.

Yesterday, major miraa supplier John Mwenda said the demolition of the kiosk was done in a hurried and mysterious manner.

“They came with a letter on Friday and gave us two non-working days to remove our stalls. The letter instructed us to relocate but did not state where to,” Mwenda said on the phone.

The trader was among many traders following proceedings at the county assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

They engaged nominated MCA Fatma Kushe who has sponsored the motion seeking to ban the sale of miraa in Mombasa.

On Wednesday, Kushe alleged that powerful individuals involved in the business unsuccessfully tried to compromise her to withdraw the motion which was introduced through the health committee.

“The same individuals compromised several MCAs to shoot down the motion,” Kushe said.

Mwenda said powerful forces involved in the illegal drugs trade are pushing for the ban of miraa.

“Many of the drug addicts are no longer using drugs and have turned to miraa and muguka which has less side effects. The trend is ruining their business,” Mwenda said.


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