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Muguka: Coast leaders finally agree to meet Ruto on Monday

Political divisions have emerged among Coast leaders ahead of their meeting with President William Ruto tomorrow (Monday) to discuss their stand on banning muguka business, which fetches Sh22 billion annually.

This is after a section of the leaders criticised those who voted for the Finance Bill 2024, terming them as traitors.

Last week, the Head of State invited the Coast Governors led by Mr Gideon Mung’aro (Kilifi), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mombasa), Dhadho Godhana (Tana River), Fatuma Achani (Kwale), Issa Timmamy (Lamu) and Andrew Mwadime (Taita Taveta) to State House Nairobi to discuss the muguka stalemate.

However, they turned down the invite until they discussed the matter with other stakeholders including religious leaders, health experts, lawyers, opinion leaders politicians and human rights activists.

On Friday, the leaders including Governors, finally agreed to meet President Ruto to address the ban on muguka.

They urged the Head of State to include Senators, MPs, human rights activists, religious leaders and health experts in the Monday meeting.

Led by the chairman of the Coast economic block, Mr Mung’aro, the leadership solemnly agreed to meet President Ruto to address the muguka ban.

They want President Ruto to pledge to help rehabilitate hundreds of Coast youths addicted to the stimulant, remove muguka from the Crops Act, and support the enactment of a new bill in the Senate and National Assembly that will see the crop banned.

“We have consulted and agreed to go meet the Head of State. We will select specific leaders from all counties to go speak to the President. Each county will get the representation we want diverse views from religious leaders and experts. Let’s leave the finance bill aside and focus on muguka agenda, ” pleaded Mr Mung’aro.

Speaking during the meeting with the stakeholders at Kenya Government School in Mombasa, Mr Mung’aro said its time for the Coast leaders to speak with one voice.

“We want unity, from today henceforth we will be supporting each other. We will be fighting for our resources as one. We want to change how we do politics,” said Mr Mung’aro.

His Taita Taveta counterpart urged Coast leaders to be united to fight for the region.

“Let me give an example, when I began fighting for revenues from our Tsavo national parks, leaders from Samburu, Narok and Kajiado went to see the President and they were heard. This is because of their unity. Let’s speak with one voice and emulate them,” said Mr Mwadime.

He urged the leaders to pick experts and politicians from the regions to ensure equal representation during the meeting with President Ruto.

watieno@ke.nationmedia.com

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