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Court suspends implementation of muguka ban


Muguka farmers and traders in Embu have won reprieve after the High Court on Tuesday temporarily suspended Muguka ban effected by the coastal counties of Mombasa, Kilifi and Taita Taveta.

The conservatory orders were issued by Embu High Court Judge Lucy Njuguna pending hearing and determination of the petition filed by the County Government of Embu, County Assembly and Muguka farmers under the umbrella of Kutherema Muguka Sacco Society Limited.

“After perusing annexed documents and relevant articles of the constitution in support of the petition, the court is satisfied that the applicants deserve to be granted conservatory orders at this preliminary stage,” the judge ruled.

The orders are to last until July 8 when the application will be heard interparte.

The three coastal counties last week banned supply, sale and consumption of the herbal stimulant citing adverse effects on the consumers especially the youth.

The move sparked demonstrations in Embu that were also joined by leaders including Deputy Governor Kinyua Mugo and Women Rep Pamela Njoki.

The court ruling has been hailed by leaders and residents, who argued the ban could have rendered many jobless including farmers, traders and transporters.

They argued that there was no scientific evidence to prove muguka was a drug and there was also no single law prohibiting its sale and consumption.

However, Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Embu Branch Chair Mugo Mate called for mediation between the parties involved to ensure the ruling does not spark animosity.

“I am of the opinion that now the court has lifted the ban, there is need for dialogue between the warring factions so that business will go on smoothly pending hearing and determination of the case,” he said.

Devoid of this, Mate said the coastal counties could apply underhand tactics such as imposing hefty levies for the products that could technically bring the trade into the precipice of collapse.

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