By Abdi Hussein
The Kajiado County Alcohol and liquor licensing board is considering imposing a Muguka sale ban in Kajiado after public hue and cry.
The sale of the stimulant leaves has taken most Kajiado urban and rural areas by storm with Muguka joints mushrooming all over to the chagrin of locals.
Dozen students are said to have dropped out of school to engage in Muguka business with some patronising Muguka joints high as kite totally hooked into the addiction.
A spot check indicates a dozen youths chewing Muguka at makeshift sale joints in the most cavalier manner in total ignorance of Covid 19 protocols.
The joints open as early as 6am and close shops by 10 pm.Most youths prefer Muguka to remain high instead of alcohol due to economic hard time.Prices have Plummeted by 50 percent with traders selling as low as Sh 10 per small pack.
Able bodied youths,male to female, who could be contributing to building the economy dozes in long forms used as seats.
“We have no option;we have no steady means of livelihood.The little we use we spend on food and Muguka hoping for better tomorrow.”Said a youthful female customer flanked by her peers.
Women claim husbands hooked into Muguka addiction rarely fulfil their matrimonial duties.Most of them spend most of their time at Muguka joints.
These joints are also accused of harbouring criminals increasing cases of insecurity.Kitengela,Ong’ata Rongai,Ngong,Kiserian and Kajiado are the worst hit. The satellite towns are estimated to have more than 2,000 Muguka joints.
Now,the licensing board chairman Jonah Matapash says Muguka has become a major menace that has taken Kajiado by a storm.
He said the business is not licensed and the board is considering imposing a total ban on the sale of Muguka until new laws to regulate the business are enacted.
The chair also took issue with several Muguka farms in Kajiado without following due process.
Currently the board is profiling all Muguka joints across the country.
“Muguka business is booming in Kajiado county holding youths in to captivity.Students are not spared either.The Board is rooting for a total ban and closure of all Muguka joints,”Said Marahpash.
At the same time the board has identified two farms growing Muguka in Isinya and Isara areas in Kajiado East Sub county promising to crack the whip.
The board is seeking to know if the due process was followed or the product was meant for export or for local consumption.
However,the traders say their business is not booming as usual but maintain mostly they sell to youths who can not afford alcohol to remain “high”
Muguka is a variety of Khat that grows mostly in the dry lowland areas of Embu. Muguka users chew the freshly-plucked buds and soft leaves.
By Abdi Hussein