Home News Coast Governors Reject Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi’s Invitation for Muguka Talks

Coast Governors Reject Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi’s Invitation for Muguka Talks

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Coast Governors Reject Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi’s Invitation for Muguka Talks

 

Coastal governors have declined an invitation from Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi for discussions on the regulation of muguka, a stimulant leaf closely related to khat. The decision marks a significant stance by regional leaders on the contentious issue that has sparked debates over its socio-economic impacts.

 

The governors expressed their concerns in a joint statement, emphasizing the adverse effects of muguka on the youth. “Our stance is clear and firm. We cannot condone the spread of substances that are detrimental to our young people,” said Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir. “The proposed talks by the Cabinet Secretary are not aligned with our priorities for public health and youth development.”

 

Linturi had extended the invitation with the aim of creating a regulatory framework that balances economic interests with health considerations. However, the governors argue that the negative health impacts of muguka far outweigh any potential economic benefits. “The well-being of our citizens takes precedence over all other considerations,” Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro stated. “We cannot engage in discussions that might legitimize the use of substances harmful to our communities.”

 

The governors’ rejection underscores a broader regional push for stricter control or outright bans on muguka, which has become increasingly popular in the coastal areas. They cited rising cases of addiction and related health issues among the youth as primary reasons for their stance. “We see the devastating effects daily,” noted Taita Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime. “It is our responsibility to protect the future generation from such harmful influences.”

 

Despite the rejection, the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary remains hopeful for future dialogue. “We must find a middle ground that addresses both the health concerns and the livelihoods of those dependent on the muguka trade,” Linturi said in response to the governors’ decision. “Open and continuous dialogue is essential for finding sustainable solutions.”

 

The coastal governors are urging the national government to focus on alternative development programs that offer viable economic opportunities without compromising public health. “We need to invest in sustainable and healthy livelihoods,” Governor Nassir reiterated. “There are numerous other sectors that can boost our economy and improve the well-being of our people.”

 

As the debate over muguka regulation continues, the coastal governors’ collective stance highlights the ongoing tension between public health priorities and economic interests in Kenya. Their firm rejection of the talks invitation sets the stage for a continued push towards more stringent control measures aimed at curbing the spread and use of muguka in the region.

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