Kenyan Miraa traders rumble in commotion after yet another plane carrying 11 tonnes of miraa to Puntland in Somalia was turned back to Kenya for reportedly violating COVID-19 restrictions. According to reports, the plane claimed to be carrying vegetables. Other planes have also been making their way to Somalia from Kenya with claims of carrying COVID-19 supplies and “vegetables”. The first plane which was reported to have been carrying 13.6 tonnes of khat to Hargeisa was ordered back on the fourth of July.
Somalia closed it’s an airspace and banned cargo flights on March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though other bans are being lifted, the ban of khat I still in place according to the Somali government. Kenyan traders say in their defence, the plane compiled with all rules and regulatory framework. The chairman of Nyambene Miraa Traders, Kimathi Munjiri, says the Kenyan government is to blame for ignoring several pleas to engage the Somali government over the miraa trade suspension.
Farmers of khat in Kenya say they re facing harsh economic times following the suspension.
They cried the life is getting hard for them and they have rn out of savings. Since the ban, they are pleading and want the president to intervene and see to it that the ban I lifted.
The Nyambene Miraa Sacco has up to one thousand two hundred members and they say Miraa has no local market which has made them experience very big losses. The suspension of khat remains in place as officials say the narcotic could contribute to increased COVID-19 infections if the ban is lifted. The campaign in Somalia to ban khat for good is taking place by the anti-khat activists since the four months trade suspension was put in place.