Mwingi women ditch farming to sell miraa

POOR rains in Kitui county have forced some women to start selling miraa and muguka to earn a living.

Speaking to the Star Tuesday, the women said farming proved futile in Mwingi despite all the efforts they put in their farms.

Dealer Muusi Mukasi said she knows this is not a good income-generating activity but she has no choice.

“Surely even if it’s a sin let me sin,” she said.

Mukasi said she has three children in secondary school and two are in primary.

She said the children were sent home for lack of fees the first day they reported to secondary school last week.

“I am a single parent and at least I have made money over the last week. I have something I can face the principal with to allow my children to continue with classes,” Mukasi said.

She said she wished she had known about the opportunity earlier.

“I would just be selling my muguka and miraa over the holiday instead of concentrating with farming and harvest nothing,” she said.

Mukasi said the women wake up very early in the morning everyday and assemble at a specific place, where they wait for vehicles transporting miraa from Tharaka and Meru.

When the vehicles arrive, they pick their miraa and muguka and disperse to selling points to distribute the commodity to their customers.


Miraa transporters kidnapped by al Shabaab still missing

Deputy Inspector General of police Samuel Arachi has denied allegations that five men kidnapped by Al-Shabaab on Friday last week in Kiunga Lamu East have been released.

Arachi said the five are yet to be found and that their has been no communication to their respective families as claimed. He said a search and rescue operation for the five is still on as well as a hunt for the militiamen.

“We have deployed surveillance on the ground and in the air in a bid to rescue the Kenyans and apprehend the criminals,” Arachi said. The five were waylaid by heavily armed al Shabaab assailants while ferrying Miraa in two Toyota Land Cruisers from Meru to Kiunga.

Arachi said the kidnappers abandoned the two vehicles and offloaded the miraa after the multi-agency operation started.

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5 people still missing after being hijacked in Lamu

The whereabouts of five people and two vehicles hijacked by suspected Al-Shabaab militiamen in Lamu on Friday remain unknown.

Witness reports however say the vehicles have been spotted in Jilb, a stronghold of the Al shabaab militant group.

The armed attackers intercepted the two Toyota Land Cruiser pick-ups, which were transporting miraa between Milimani and Basuba in Lamu East at around 8.30am Friday.

They took off with the five occupants of both vehicles, which were transporting miraa to Somalia.

This is the second attack to happen in the same area.

In August, a driver was beheaded and two vehicles taken away. To date no recovery has been made.

NACADA working on law to restrict Miraa chewing to 5 hours a day

Anti drug abuse watchdog NACADA wants to restrict chewing of Miraa to only 5 hours a day.

The authority is drafting a proposal for a new law that if ratified would restrict consumption of Miraa to between 5pm and 10pm.

Mohammed Fazuk from the authority says it is time to regulate consumption of the leafy plant.

Miraa, also known as Khat contains a stimulant, said to cause excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria. It is classified as a drug of abuse by WHO although it is not considered to be seriously addictive.

Khat is a controlled substance in some countries but its production, sale, and consumption are still legal in Kenya.