By George Kithuka.
State house has moved to clarify on a diplomatic gaffe that saw the Somali government temporarily ban the importation of Miraa into the country.
State house spokesman Manoah Esipisu says the spat resulted from a misunderstanding occasioned by Meru governor’s visit to Somaliland where he appeared to support their cessation cause in exchange of importing Miraa from Kenya in the wake of bans that have threatened the trade.
Clashing opinions have abounded since the Somalia government suddenly announced a temporal ban on miraa from Kenya, a move that a section of the political class have taken as fodder in the quest to get the support of communities where the plant remains the economic spine.
And as the debate continues, state house spokesman has moved to clarify on the matter that had threatened to place Kenya at cross roads with its neighbour that remains the main market for the product, with Kenya having been faced with the challenge of bans from its traditional markets.
State house spokesman Manoah Esipisu says the diplomatic spat was ignited by a visit by Meru governor peter Munya where he is said to have entered into pseudo agreements with authorities in the region.
The Federal Republic of Somalia is said to have taken the arrangements as a recognition by the Kenyan government of Somaliland as an independent state prompting the decision to ban miraa imports into the country.
Esipisu was quick to remind Munya and his fellow governors that counties lack the powers of sovereign states and cannot hold discussions with sovereign government entities in another country without, in the first instance, consultations with the Kenyan foreign ministry and authorities in the countries in which they wish to engage.
The knock on effect of the temporal ban resulted in loss of millions of shillings for miraa farmers especially after the United Kingdom banned the crop despite a diversification study commissioned by the Act Change Transformation group saying that the UK ban had affected education in parts of miraa producing regions.