In Summary
  • Kasemeni MCA Anthony Yama said consumption of muguka is destroying the lives of youth and marriages.
  • Kongowea market secretary-general Daniel Matumo called on the assembly to do more research before effecting the ban.

Mombasa ward representatives have proposed a ban on the sale and consumption of "muguka" following a high addiction rate among minors and youth.

The assembly's Health Committee, led by its deputy chairperson Fatma Kushe, said the addictive stimulant has negatively impacted the health and well-being of young people in Mombasa.

They claimed that the drug, derived from the “muguka” plant and consumed as fresh leaves, is also threatening marriages.

A similar trend is being experienced in Kilifi County, where women have staged demonstrations to protest against consumption of "muguka" in the region.

They have petitioned the county assembly to consider a prohibition on its sale and consumption.

"We are tired to see our school-going children wasting their lives in the streets buying “muguka” which is sold at Sh20.

"The minors steal Sh20 to go buy “muguka”, the county assembly should just ban this crop," Ms Kibibi Ali said.

MARRIAGE

Ms Ali said marriages are at stake due as she insisted men have failed to meet their conjugal rights.

"This issue is very serious at the Coast, our husbands cant meet their obligations at home due to this stimulant. The crop has serious effects," she added.

In May, the Kwale County Assembly unanimously passed a motion seeking to ban the sale and consumption of “muguka”, even as members maintained an overall objective of seeing its permanent ban from the entire Coast region.

The motion, introduced by Kasemeni MCA Anthony Yama, says its consumption is destroying the lives of hundreds of youth and marriages.

Ms Kushe said the stimulant is being sold to children as young as 12 years old in Mombasa: "Addicts later engage in petty crimes to raise money to buy the drug. It must be banned.”

MARKET

The crop is grown in Embu but has a huge market in Mombasa.

There are big markets at Tononoka grounds and in Kongowea, where the crop is sold openly.

On an average, more than four pick-ups ferry the product to Kongowea market daily.

“Last week, the health department had a series of meetings with players in the trade and as the county assembly.

"We have warned them to be prepared for the ban,” Ms Kushe said.

Kongowea market secretary-general Daniel Matumo called on the assembly to do more research before effecting the ban.

But according to Miritini Ward MCA and chairman of the committee on health Kibwana Swaleh, the fate of the crop is sealed in Mombasa.

Following the meeting, MCAs and traders agreed to conduct an independent study on the drug then form a committee to scrutinize the findings.