Why Madaraka Day speeches were dominated by muguka ban and insecurity

The ban on sale of muguka in some coastal counties, the recent floods and insecurity in the North Rift are among the issues that featured in Madaraka Day speeches made by various leaders across the country yesterday.

In Mombasa, Governor Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir and allied leaders were unapologetic about the move by the county to impose a ban on the stimulant, which has since been paused by the High Court.

Mr Nassir insisted that muguka would not be allowed into Mombasa and that they would have a meeting with leaders from north eastern Kenya over the issue.

“I will not be intimidated by what is happening because I have already received the elders’ blessings. I will stand firm to defend the residents of Mombasa.”

Kisauni MP Rashid Bedzimba urged residents to support the fight, claiming that without buyers, traders might change their minds. Likoni MP Mishi Mboko asked President Ruto to hold a meeting with coastal leaders, rejecting any involvement of Agriculture Minister Mithika Linturi in the talks.

“We do not want a meeting with Mr Linturi. He has many other issues to deal with, including the fake fertiliser scandal. Just as you met with the leaders from where muguka originates, meet with us so that we can explain its effects on our community,” said Ms Mboko, noting that the effects were already evident with reports of learners being found with packages of the readily available stimulant.

In insecurity-hit Baringo, County Commissioner Stephen Kutwa assured families displaced by banditry attacks of safety and asked them to return to their homes.

“We have made some commendable efforts to ensure that sanity is restored in the insecurity-prone villages in Baringo North. Peace has resumed and we urge the displaced locals to go back to their homes and rebuild their lives so that the school-going children can resume learning as well,” said Mr Kutwa at Emining in Mogotio Sub-County.

He said training of more than 130 police reservists to supplement the officers in Kimalel, Baringo South.

Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi urged communities in the region to co-exist peacefully to pave the way for development. “We should do away with retrogressive cultural activities such as stock theft that have made us lag behind in development.”

In Uasin Gishu, Governor Jonathan Bii disclosed plans by the devolved unit to collect Sh1.2 billion as Own Source Revenue this financial year.

“We has so far raised Sh980 million as domestic revenue and our objective is to collect Sh300 million this month to enable us deliver quality services to our people,” said Mr Bii. Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi called on residents to embrace tree-planting to manage the effects of climate change. In Bomet, Governor Hillary Barchok admitted that the county is faced with water shortages over Sh25 million electricity bills while Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu promised to restore the infrastructure damaged by recent flooding.

As Kericho Governor Erick Mutai urged farmers to diversify their agricultural undertakings, leaders in Tharaka-Nithi, including County Commissioner David Kariuki and Deputy Governor Nyaga Muisrael, highlighted the country’s milestones in food security since independence.

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