Raila Odinga promises new market for miraa traders


Raila Odinga
CORD leader Raila Odinga addressing residents of Meru on Saturday. [photo/Courtesy]

CORD leader Raila Odinga has promised to find a new market for miraa traders to help resuscitate the trade.

Speaking during a visit of Meru on Saturday, Raila accused Jubilee government of playing politics with the issues facing miraa traders terming President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise to inject Ksh 1 billion to the trade as a political gimmick aimed at increasing his popularity in the region ahead of the 2017 elections.

Miraa traders were dealt a blow two years ago after the UK and Netherlands imposed a ban on the trade, claiming miraa, popularly known as khat, was a class C drug.

“Agreement at State House between Meru leaders and the government will not solve the problems bedeviling miraa farmers. We need a long-term solution to this issue,” he said.

In a pronouncement which was widely applauded by residents of Meru County, a key miraa producing region, Raila revealed that he had held talks with Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli that would revive the trade.

In his address, Raila called on the government to work on ensuring the ban in UK and Netherlands is lifted as a long term solution to the crumbling economy in Meru region.

The CORD leader revealed that he had held talks with Tanzanian President Magufuli to enact a bill in Tanzanian parliament that will legalize miraa as a cash crop in the country and open up the Tanzanian market for Kenya.

The ODM leader’s utterances were in reference to a meeting between President Kenyatta and a section of Meru leaders led by Senator Kiraitu Murungi at State House in Nairobi that led to the issuance of the Sh1 billion fund for to help the sector stay afloat.

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