Miraa farmers fight Nacada on chewing restrictions

Monday November 06 2017

This photo taken on December 1, 2012 shows a miraa consumer. Nacada wants to regulate consumption of the stimulant. PHOTO | KOEN VAN WEEL


Miraa farmers and traders are back in court, seeking orders stopping an anti-drug abuse agency from regulating chewing of the stimulant.

However, Justice Enock Chacha Mwita declined to restrain the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) from imposing a regulation that miraa be chewed between 4pm and 10pm.

Justice Mwita directed lawyer Henry Kurauka for the Kenya Miraa Farmers and Traders Association to serve Nacada, the Attorney-General and Dr William Okedi, who have been named as defendants in the fresh case, before November 17.


On this day, he will give further directions on the case.

Mr Kurauka told the judge that the move by Nacada to regulate the chewing of miraa would adversely affect the trade in the stimulant, which has been banned in some European countries.


“What is the scientific effect of chewing miraa?” Justice Mwita asked Mr Kurauka.

“The stimulant has been given a clean bill of health through scientific and laboratory tests. It has been placed in the class of coffee and tea,” Mr Kurauka responded.

He said Nacada has no legal mandate to restrict the time for miraa consumption.

Mr Kurauka told the judge that the national government had injected billions of shillings into the miraa sector as it is a foreign exchange earner.

He said Nacada’s move to intensify negative campaigns against miraa violates provisions of the Constitution that guarantee consumer rights.

He added that unless the orders sought are issued, miraa traders would be affected immensely.