Judge stops release of miraa billion, execution of report

Thursday October 5 2017

Kenyan khat (miraa). High Court has found that

Kenyan khat (miraa). High Court has found that a report on the sector was compiled in an opaque manner. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The High Court has stopped execution of a miraa report compiled by a team appointed by President Kenyatta.

The court also stopped any further release or use of the Sh1 billion set aside by the government for the sector until the case filed by Miraa traders is heard.


In his ruling, Justice Alfred Mabeya on Thursday said the taskforce was appointed without involving the stakeholders.

He said the taskforce, which was later changed to implementation committee, carried out its research in opaque manner and handed over the report without publishing its contents to Kenyans.

"It made the recommendations which are unknown to the public and now the very people are about to be given Sh1.2billion to disburse. That won't do," said Justice Mabeya.

The judge noted that the opaqueness of committee was against article 2010 of the Constitution.

He said public finances should be used in transparent and accountable manner as spelled out in law.


"I'm satisfied that if the sum of Sh1.2 billion is released to the unknown saccos, there will be nothing to rule on once the petition is fully heard and determined," ruled Justice Mabeya.

He said the matter was of public interest and the money should be reserved pending the hearing and determination of the main petition.

Three traders suing on behalf Nyambene Miraa Traders association moved to court to stop the recommendations that were received by the president.

Lawyers Laichena Mugambi for the petitioners and Frank Walukwe for the county government told the court the money maybe spend since President Kenyatta gazetted the names of the taskforce.


"We're seeking orders from the court to restrain the government from releasing the money because if it's released, the suit before this court will be rendered useless,'' argued Mr Walukwe.

The petitioners— Mr Kimathi Munjuri, Mr Jacob Miriti, and Mr Naftaly Kathurima— argue that Mr Kenyatta transformed the taskforce into an implementation committee without consultation with stakeholders and the Meru county government.

They further argue that the release of Sh1.2 billion as ordered by the president may not serve the best interest of Miraa farmers, traders and residents of khat growing areas.

Those listed as respondents are Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Finance CS Henry Rotich, Agriculture CS Willy Bett and the Attorney-General Githu Muigai.

They want the respondents or their representatives restrained from proceeding with the transformation of the 14-member task-force into an implementing committee pending hearing and determination of the application