Meru, Isiolo Governors advised to keep off boundary issues

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LDGI Executive Director Mwenda Makathimo. He is a renowned Land economics expert.

LDGI Executive Director Mwenda Makathimo. He is a renowned Land economics expert.

By DAVID MUCHUI

Meru and Isiolo County Governors Peter Munya and Godana Doyo have been urged to follow the law in addressing boundary disputes between the two counties.

Recently, the two governors clashed after Meru Governor Peter Munya removed Cess collection barriers belonging to Isiolo County which he said were placed in Meru leading to retaliatory destruction of Meru Cess points by youths from Isiolo.

Speaking during a Meru leaders’ forum on land matters at Thiiri Centre, Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) Executive Director Mwenda Makathimo said that the Meru-Isiolo border is clearly defined and documented hence the dispute has no basis.

“There is no dispute between the Meru and Isiolo people because they have coexisted and worked together for long. The dispute is between the two governors. The Meru Isiolo boundary has never been changed even after it was gazette in 1992 following the addition of new districts. The documents are with the Office of the president and director of Survey,” Makathimo said.

He noted that having worked as a commissioner in the Interim independent boundaries review commission (IIBRC), he is aware that all boundaries were retained as per the 1992 gazette notice and adopted in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Mr Makathimo said that governors have no mandate in interfering with boundary issues hence the two county chiefs should leave the matter to relevant government bodies.

“The two counties should not be fighting over Cess collection points. There should be joint plans on how the two counties can benefit from the LAPPSET and the Isiolo resort city rather than fueling conflicts among the people,” he advised.

The land economics expert cited article 188 of the Constitution of Kenya which directs that a County boundary can only be altered through an independent commission formed by parliament whose recommendations must win support of two thirds of National Assembly and the Senate.

“As at now not the IEBC nor the National Land Commission or any government body can initiate a boundary change until the parliament forms an independent commission. It is a long process hence the need to respect the 1992 boundaries. Governors have no duty on changing boundaries,” remarked Makathimo.

The LDGI Director further advised county governments to follow the law when implementing any developments on community land to avert stirring disputes among affected communities.

“If there is any development on community land the County government must respect Article 63, sub article 4 must be respected. It requires the County to keep the land in trust of the community until a law by parliament is provided to guide its use. Community rights over resources must be respected,” he said

He called for involvement of the communities so as to foster development in areas where land is communal.

Munya hits out at Senate over judiciary debate

By DAVID MUCHUI

Meru Governor Peter Munya has told off senate over a recent debate where Senators censored the judiciary over interfering with House business.
Speaking after opening Giika Dispensary in Igembe North Sub County, called on the Senate to stop fighting with the Judiciary as each arm of government is independent.
“The Judiciary is there to act as the arbitrator even when there are differences between the national and county governments. The Judiciary is doing its work by issuing temporary orders on governors’ summons. The censorship debate aimed at judges will lead this country to lawlessness,” Munya said.
He further said that Governors cannot attend Senate Committee summons arguing that only county accounting officers can answer questions.
“Those in the Senate were elected like me. They have no power to summon fellow elected leaders for grilling. I can only heed to Senators’ calls if it is a meeting but not a summon,” he said.
Munya accused Senators of usurping the responsibilities of County assemblies in oversight of the county government executive.
The Senate has questioned the Judiciary’s mandate in issuing injunctions on the Senate especially on governors’ summons.

TA Chairman supports MCAs’ Ward offices

By DAVID MUCHUI

The Transition Authority (TA) has finally agreed that Members of County Assembly (MCA) can operate offices at their Wards at the expense of the taxpayer.

Transition Authority Chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi said that the TA has been persuaded that MCAs require offices to efficiently perform their representation and oversight roles.

Speaking in Meru town after a consultative meeting with Meru Deputy Governor Raphael Muriungi, Deputy Speaker Gideon Kimathi, Meru County Assembly Clerk Justus Arithi, and Meru County TA officer, Wamwangi however said there is need for intensive consultations to establish a win-win situation.

“TA has done a study and came to a conclusion that it is important for MCAs to have offices. This will stop the flow of people into their homes as they seek assistance. We are in consultations with other government agencies agree on staffing of the Ward offices,” Wamwangi said.

He said that TA will involve the salaries and remuneration commission (SRC), Public service Commission (PSC), Constitution implementation Commission (CIC), Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) and the Controller of Budget to ensure the MCAs needs are met within the law.

“It is good for the MCAs to have offices but we have to come up with a good way of handling it. There is no need to keep fighting over the matter” he said

Mr Wamwangi further disputed feelings that the TA was opposed to the establishment of Ward development funds in the Counties but that the fund should not be controlled by MCAs.

“We have never had objections to the Counties executive introducing ward development fund. The fund is welcome because it is in the spirit of devolution of resources and will ensure equity in development. What we wanted is set the correct practices in running of such funds to allow MCAs do what they are required by law,” he said.

The TA Chairman noted that MCAs will only appear in Ward development committees alongside the executive by virtue of being representatives of the electorate.

He said MCAs should concentrate on making sound legislations and oversight development in the counties.

Wamwangi said the Authority is in the process of costing both national and county governments functions to advise the treasury on revenue allocation.

“We are also doing function analysis to establish the cost of running each function. Once this is done we will establish how much revenue should be allocated to Counties and national government. We are also doing staff rationalization to address imbalances in County workforce,” he remarked.

Meru County Assembly Deputy Speaker Gideon Kimathi lauded the TA’s move to support Ward offices and the Ward development saying the move is long overdue.

“We have been operating offices but the TA had branded them illegal establishments. We are happy that MCAs will have a place to meet the electorate. It is good that TA has seen sense in having Ward offices,” Kimathi said.

Transition authority has been at loggerheads with MCAs in the country over its stance on Ward offices and Ward development fund.

Tigania West CDF to give loans to 25 students annually

By DAVID MUCHUI
Tigania Constituency Development fund (CDF) has partnered with Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to pay school fees for 25 students pursuing law, medical, engineering, pilot among other courses every year.

According to Tigania West MP, Sh5 million will be set aside from the CDF bursary kitty annually to fund the education of five students from every ward in the constituency.

“We will provide school fees for bright and needy students who want to become lawyers, doctors, engineers, pilots or locomotive drivers. The money will be refundable to HELB after the beneficiaries are employed.

The courses are very competitive hence we expect the youths to get jobs immediately after training enabling them to repay the loans,” Karithi said.

He said that the move is geared towards improving education standards in the constituency as well as increasing the number of the much needed professionals in the area.

Karithi further directed that the process of identifying students to get CDF bursaries be devolved to location level as opposed to the current system where it is done at constituency level.

“We want the bursary committees to go to the location level and identify the needy and bright pupils and students with the help of residents. We want to make the process transparent and free of corruption and collusion. We want the CDF money to benefit the deserving children,” the MP said.

He noted that the practice of sharing CDF bursaries in the office away from reality has been questioned by constituents who are not aware of the criteria of bursary allocation.

The Tigania West MP urged residents to remain vigilant in monitoring spending of public funds and raise alarm in the event of misappropriation of public funds.

He was speaking at Ngundune market after distributing CDF cheques worth 33million to various development projects in Athwana and Akithii wards.

Huduma centre to be established in Meru

By DAVID MUCHUI

Meru County residents are set to enjoy Huduma Centers services in the next three months after Devolution and planning CS Anne Waiguru promised to launch the facility in Meru town recently.

She was speaking at Meru university of science and technology when she opened the Meru Professionals Association conference dubbed unity for development.

Waiguru noted that 14 Huduma Centres have been opened countrywide adding that Meru is set to benefit with the 15th centre.

“About 30 government services are being offered in the Huduma centres. Meru is in the second phase of the Huduma centre establishment and we will open one in Meru town in three to four months time,” Waiguru said.

She further said that the Ministry is negotiating with MPs to establish CDF funded Huduma centers in the constituencies to ease accessibility of government services.

“The Huduma Centres will reduce congestion in government offices and increase efficiency on service delivery. We are ready to provide the staff for Constituency Huduma centres,” she said.

The center is expected to serve residents of upper Eastern region. The nearest Huduna Center has already been established in Embu.
ENDS…

Imenti South education staeholders urge Sub Counties to improve standards

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By DAVID MUCHUI
Kathingiri Boarding Headteacher Micheni Ragwa (R), Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi (2nd R), Priscilla Murungi (Centre), KFS Chairman Peter Kirigua (2nd L) and Imenti South DEO David Ntuara (L) show off the Best Public Primary School trophy given to the school for leading nationally for six years running.

Kathingiri Boarding Headteacher Micheni Ragwa (R), Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi (2nd R), Priscilla Murungi (Centre), KFS Chairman Peter Kirigua (2nd L) and Imenti South DEO David Ntuara (L) show off the Best Public Primary School trophy given to the school for leading nationally for six years running.

Education stakeholders in Imenti South have called for concerted efforts to uplift education standards in the Meru County.

Speaking during a two day education strategic meeting at Igoji Teachers College, the School heads, education officials, political leaders and other stakeholders lamented that other parts of the County have been pulling down performance in national rankings.

Imenti South MP Kathuri Murungi who had convened the forum said that despite Imenti South Sub County being ranked well in national exams and other academic assessments, the county has remained in the bottom.

“Imenti South has been ranked top in national exams but the county is always ranked poorly. We were ranked position four nationally in a recent survey on literacy and arithmetics. I am sure if we were ranked as a County we would be tailing,” Kathuri said.

He said there is need for all leaders in the County to move with speed and change the trend adding that: “We do not want to be ashamed by the County performance yet we have done our best. Other Sub counties are tainting our performance.”

Kathuri said that the Meru Parliamentary Group has resolved to play its part in ensuring that education standards improve.

“We met recently with other MPs and discussed the education standards at length. As politicians we will do everything to support education. All MPs have vowed to ensure that their Constituencies catch up with Imenti South,” said Kathuri.

Expressing similar sentiments, Meru County Women Representative Florence Kajuju said that Imenti South has maintained an upward trend in education hence other Sub counties need to improve standards.

“We have always heard of South Imenti when it comes to national ranking. It is true that other parts of the County have been pulling down rankings of the County. I will do whatever it takes to ensure we improve our education,” Kajuju said.

She said that the political leaders are engaging the Cabinet Secretary for Education to ensure all schools with infrastructural challenges get a facelift.

“We have engaged the Education CS Prof Jacob Kaimenyi and he has promised to work with us in improving education. We want to ensure that all schools have the necessary facilities so that when we demand results there will be no scapegoats,” she said.


Makarena to chair ODM, unite Meru warring factions

Mike Mutembei 'Makarena' (R) consults with Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka during a recent visit to Meru. PHOTO/Ken Kimanthi/

Mike Mutembei ‘Makarena’ (R) consults with Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka during a recent visit to Meru. PHOTO/Ken Kimanthi/

By DAVID MUCHUI

A section of Meru ODM Mashinani leaders have called on the Party leader Raila Odinga to abandon his planned visit to Meru next month to pave way for resolution of party wrangles in the area.

In a press statement read by County Secretary Robert Kinyua, the ODM members said that they are ready to appoint Mike Mutembei ‘Makarena’ as the Meru  ODM Chairman saying he has the ability to unite the warring factions.

ODM Mashinani youth coordinator in Meru Jeremiah Mutethia said the group is ready to unite with other factions to strengthen the party in the region.

There has been infighting among ODM members in Meru with about four factions terming themselves as the genuine ODM leadership in the County.

“We have identified Makarena as the best suited to serve as ODM Chairman because of his track record. He is capable of uniting the warring parties and bring more members. If the party leadership reject our proposal we are ready to go for party elections to vote for Makarena,” Mutethia said.

They said that they are ready to install Makarena as the Chairman and asked the party secretariat to endorse their choice.

A faction of ODM leaders in Meru allied to Mike Mutembei during a press briefing.

A faction of ODM leaders in Meru allied to Mike Mutembei during a press briefing. PHOT0/David Muchui/

The leaders accused ODM MPs Mpuru Aburi (Tigania East) and Kubai Kiringo (Igembe Central) of abandoning the Orange Party to court the Jubilee government.

“Mpuru and Kiringo will only be allowed in ODM as members. Their loyalty is questionable because they got over 20,000 votes in their constituencies yet Raila got 3,000 only. We wish them well in their courtship with Jubilee,” Kinyua said.

They also accused ODMs top leadership of failing to provide direction for ODM Mashinani in the County.

“Every time when Raila visits Meru he is flanked by Ameru from Nairobi who steal the show from grassroots leaders. We are calling on Orange House to clean those messes and recongnise grass-root leaders,” said the Youth Coordinator.

The entry of Makarena, who hails from Mpuru’s backyard, into ODM politics is seen as party’s bid to neutralize Mpuru’s influence as he has been accused of disloyalty.

Recently, in a television show, Mpuru accused Raila of attempting to push him out of party and threatened to boycott Raila’s Meru visit.

They pledged support for the referendum calls by CORD and Council of governors.

Investment group aims to own homes with Sh100 daily savings

By DAVID MUCHUI
With the skyrocketing cost of living and unaffordable bank interest on loans, people are devising ways of leveraging on the power of many to meet desired financial obligations.

In Meru, a group comprising of over 200 people from all walks of life has come together with the aim of each owning a house worth millions in the next five years.

Twigaire Community Investment Group, a Community based organization (CBO),has a membership of over 200 members who contribute Sh100 per day and the money is kept in a joint account for investment.

According to Mr Isaac Kinoti, the brainchild of the idea and the Patron of Twigaire Community Investment Group, the members have been able to pool over Sh600 thousand in two months.

“The group is purely an investment group on the agreed project and is not a welfare group. We saw that most people can afford Sh100 in a day and everyone has to contribute without fail. We give a grace period of 15 days after which you are removed from the group and lose your savings,” Kinoti explains.

He notes that many people have money but have challenges in saving up to accomplish any project that needs a lot of money.

“Saving money in a bank does not add so much value and borrowing loans can lead some people to more problems. Instead of saving the money and borrowing a loan on it, we have decided to consolidate it and invest in an income generating project. The income generating projects will help us meet our long-term goal,” he relates.

Growing savings
The Patron of the group says that every member is expected to contribute for one year an amount totaling to Sh36, 000 which will be ploughed into viable and agreed upon investments.

“The members have agreed to buy four one acre pieces of land this year where we will rear indigenous chicken. We intend to spend Sh300, 000 per acre and we have already started scouting for land. We will keep 800 Kienyeji chickens in every farm,” says an optimistic Kinoti.

The group has adopted a no debt principle to avert tussles within the group and for safety of their investments.

Besides investing, the group will be able to provide employment for some of their members who have shown interest in managing the four poultry farms.

“From the over 1600 chicken, we anticipate to be making close to Sh900 million in a month. After one year, the members will have their Sh36, 000 working for them and no more contribution will be needed.

In fact, the members can start earning dividends while the rest of the profit is ploughed back into the business,” he says confidently.

Own a house
Kinoti further reveals that in the fifth year, the group will be buying land which will be subdivided for sale and construction of houses for the members.

“In five years, we expect every member to own a house worth millions of shillings. We may opt to use cheaper prefabricated building technology to cut costs and time,” says Kinoti who is an investor in the hospitality industry in Meru.

The group members meet every weekend where they deliberate on the progress and submit records of their contributions which are done direct to the group bank account.

“The group leadership changes hands every month where members take over based on the registration list. Every member foots the bill for any group activity and only the bank is allowed to handle the money. A decision is binding if it is approved by 50 percent of the members,” he adds.

Kinoti says that the investment idea is an inspiration of his own financial experience and advice received from successful people in the society.

“Investing requires patience and discipline. I have managed to buy land and construct business premises without borrowing. However, it has taken me over 10 years and I am yet to finish up. The beauty of it all is that I owe no one,” Twigaire Group Patron asserts.

His advice to those seeking to make wealth is to do everything possible to ensure their money is at work. “You are either working to be a millionaire or working to make someone a millionaire,” he quips.

Kinoti who is also a radio presenter with a local radio station says that no one should despise their income no matter how low as it has potential to lift their lives if invested wisely.

To those who have dismissed the group as yet another pyramid scheme, he says the group is a way of making money work for its members.

Former drunkards sobering up with the allure of dairy farming

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A Farmer receives a heifer from Meru Central DCC Samuel Kimiti as Mwanganthia MCA Julius Mbijiwe (Centre) looks on. Photo/David Muchui/

A Farmer receives a heifer from Meru Central DCC Samuel Kimiti as Mwanganthia MCA Julius Mbijiwe (Centre) looks on. Photo/David Muchui/

By DAVID MUCHUI
Residents of Mwanganthia division in Meru Central are increasingly abandoning other ventures for dairy farming following the huge financial benefits the business has brought in the area.

According to Nkando Dairy Centre Chairman Elijah Mosoti, he founded the dairy centre in 2003 as a private business but decided to turn it into a public firm in 2009 to benefit the community.

“We registered the Dairy Centre as a Self help Group with seven members but upgraded to a CBO in 2010 as the number rose to 185. We now have 163 producing members and supply over 9,000 liters of milk every month,” Mosoti explains.

He notes that the Meru Central Dairy Union buys the milk at Sh38 from which the members earn Sh33 while Sh5 cover transportation costs.

“In the month of June, we produced 9,843 liters of Milk earning about Sh400, 000. We are now working on improving the quality of our cows so that we can increase production to warrant a license from the Dairy board,” he says.

Following the economic impact of dairy farming, Duruma Location Chief Japhet Mithika has managed to organize men into groups where they buy dairy cows as a way of fighting alcoholism.

“Alcoholism was a major problem in this location as most young men were idle. In one village of 96 households, 16 households were engaging in illicit brew business. There were several disputes and assault cases reported at my office due to alcoholism. We were almost losing the battle,” Chief Mithika says.

He observes that constant arrest of brewers did not bear much fruits as the suspects would find a way of getting back to the trade.

After consulting with various elders, they discovered that idleness among men and youth was the root cause of thriving cheap illicit brew business.

“It is then that we decided to start an investment group for men. They realized that dairy farming is doing well in this area and decided to buy dairy cows. They group now has 11 dairy heifers,” the Chief recounts.

Mugutune Arithi Men Self Help Group registered early this year has now offered a remedy for alcoholism which the Chief says has greatly subsided as most youth have also been able to own a boda boda.

The group buys a heifer every two weeks after each of the 50 members contributes Sh400 a week.

Mosoti says they need for more farmers to come together to cut costs of transportation and help in improvement of quality of milk in the County.

The Dairy Center Chairman notes that they need support from the County government to acquire a milk cooler, a packaging machine and a pasteurizer to enable them process their milk.

“Farmers need to observe the guidelines laid out by the Kenya Dairy Board to ensure quality and hygiene of milk. We want every farmer to produce at least 10 liters of milk in a day to enable us meet the demand,” the Chairman says.

Meru Central Deputy County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti lauds the initiative that has brought down illicit brew business adding that the dairy farming will transform the economy of the area.

“We are now talking of over Sh400, 000 in the pockets of farmers. If more farmers produce milk, you will be able to process and create jobs at the plant and transport sector,” Kimiti notes.

According to one of the residents who received a dairy cow from the Mugutune Arithi group, the initiative is a god send since it has rescued them from the brunt of alcoholism.

“I have never seen anything like this. We have been engaging in hide and seek games with the Chief as we sought to drink illicit brews. Young men were resulting to selling valuables to get money to buy alcohol. But now we are thinking of owning dairy cows,” said one of the Mugutune Arithi Men group members.

Mr Mithika, the area Chief now says he has been able to arrest the last illicit brew dealer in the area due to good support from member of the public through the Nyumba Kumi initiative.

Meru Leaders divided in war for Miraa as farmers, traders cry foul

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By DAVID MUCHUI
Since the ban on Miraa was effected in the Netherlands and intent to ban in the United Kingdom was made known, much has been said and done by the political leadership, farmers and business people in Meru.

From the lobbying for support of the crop in the Kenyan and UK Parliament to a fundraiser in aid of a legal battle in the UK courts, all seems to have hit a snag after the UK government slapped Miraa traders with a ban early June.

While leaders are falling over themselves to earn points from the circumstances, National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority (NACADA) placed yet another hurdle on the race to save the herb by proposing that chewing be restricted to between 5pm and 10pm.
The leaders have been quick to hit back on NACADA over the intention.

The developments have resulted to dissatisfaction among Miraa farmers who have accused a section of Meru MPs, who staged the fight to rescue the market in UK, of misappropriating the money raised for the court case.

Miraa farmers have been feeling cheated by the political leaders while the political leaders have expressed their undying commitment to defend the crop with each seeking an avenue for rescuing the herb.

Meru County Women Representative Florence Kajuju as well as MPs from Igembe who were seen as the ambassadors for Khat in the ensuing struggle, have had to dispel claims that the money raised at Maili Tatu was squandered in the trips to UK.

Kajuju who led the Parliamentary Adhoc Committee on Miraa says that she did her best and staged a spirited fight to stop the ban and those spreading the rumors are out to taint the MPs’ names.

“The committee prepared a report and tabled it in parliament where it was approved. The report recommended that the government supports growth and marketing of Miraa. It also provided for amendment of the Crops Act 2013 to include Miraa as a scheduled crop. This will enable the Ministry of agriculture make policies for the improvement and marketing of the crop,” Kajuju says.

She further said that the report by her committee recommended that the government provides funds to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to facilitate a credible research that will ascertain whether Miraa is harmful.

“Already, the 2014/2015 has provided about Sh60 million for the scientific research on Miraa. Politics aside, let us work together to defend the crop. MPs went to London as a special parliamentary committee and all expenses were covered by the National assembly. Money raised in Meru was used to pay lawyers,” she argues.

Ms Kajuju said it was unfortunate that the case did not succeed. The MPs and other stakeholders were now trying to find new markets for the crop, especially in China and India, she added.

On his part, Igembe Central MP Kubai Kiringo says he is in shock over the claims that the MPs misused the money raised by farmers and business people.

“There are people out to fight Miraa from left right and centre. The infighting that has emerged after the ban will not do us any good. Farmers, leaders and traders should join hands to fight the common enemy first before turning to ourselves. We have never used a coin from the fundraiser money,” Kiringo remarked.

The MP who was speaking during the Igembe South Education Day at Maua Girls’ High school warned the residents against disrespecting their leaders.

Amendment to the Crops Act
Mr Kiringo explains that all the money raised at Maili Tatu Harambee was banked in the Cooperative Bank while Sh2 million from Meru County government was sent to the Lawyers.

“The Lawyers in the London were paid Sh7 million while the Kenyan lawyer who prepared the files was paid Sh600, 000. Let us stop fighting over unfounded rumors and defend the crop,” he said.

The Igembe Central MP said that their current focus it to ensure the crop is protected under the Crops Act before going out to seek for other markets.

In a social media update on 23rd July, Kiringo said that he had successfully moved a motion seeking an amendment to the Crops Act 2013 to include Miraa in the list of cash crops in Kenya.

“I am happy to announce that this came to be as the amendment got majority of the votes. I hereby take this opportunity to thank the team that steered this amendment, Members of Parliament who voted for the same and you the citizen for your endless support. Kazi Iendelee,” Kiringo wrote.

Adding his voice on the matter, an agitated Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi assured residents of Igembe that the MPs had not given up on the fight for Miraa.

Linturi who also spoke during the Igembe South Education Day told off those spreading rumors of funds misuse and blamed the loss of the court case to omissions in filing of the petition.

“The fight for Miraa is on and those smearing our names don’t know what they are saying. Some of them did not contribute anything during the fundraiser. It is a shame that Miraa farmers and traders who are said to reap big from the crop contributed small monies,” charged Linturi.

He lamented that no Miraa farmer or resident of the Miraa growing zone was involved in the suit filed in the UK case leading to filing of a weak case.

“The case was filed by a UK based businessman and lawyers hired from Nairobi and UK. The people of Meru who know the Miraa crop better were not involved. We discovered this while in London,” Linturi revealed.

European Human Rights Court

Linturi said that he has taken the Miraa legal battle a notch higher by sponsoring a petition in the European Court of Human Rights seeking withholding of the ban for three to five years to cushion farmers from the effects of the ban.

“Lawyers led by former MP for Imenti Central Gitobu Imanyara have already flown to the European court to seek leave for 3-5 years to enable farmers organize themselves. You cannot cut off the economic lifeline abruptly and leave them in suffering. It is a human right violation which must be guarded against,” Linturi said.

The MP said that he will personally foot the bill for the suit and expects the Court to instruct the UK government to lift the ban for a period of time.

Miraa Taskforce
Meanwhile, Meru County Governor Peter Munya has announced plans to establish a Miraa taskforce that will look into the Miraa problems among them the loss of European market.

Speaking during the launch of the County Integrated Development Plan at Three Steers Hotel recently, Munya noted that the impact of the ban is big on livelihoods and general economy of the County.

“The Taskforce on Miraa is expected to find out the impact of the ban and give recommendations on what can be done to cushion farmers and traders. The taskforce should be able to make recommendations that will be adopted by the national government to help in harnessing the situation,” Munya said.

He noted that Miraa trade has had a great influence on the economy of the County through the ripple effect.
“Some people may show no concern on the ban because they are not farmers or chewers. Let them know that everyone has benefited from Miraa money. We expect to find options on farming and marketing and look into ways of expanding and opening new markets,” the governor said.

Munya further said that the County government will engage with the governments that have banned Miraa to come up with ways of rejuvenating the economy that has largely relied on the crop.

However, some leaders have been calling on Miraa farmers to look beyond the crop and diversify into other forms of agriculture.

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