Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani has declared a significant rise in the entry fee for lorries transporting Muguka into the county, increasing the charge from Sh10,000 to Sh300,000.

This new measure is part of the County Finance Bill 2024/2025, aimed at curbing the consumption of the stimulant, widely criticized for its adverse effects on the local populace.

Governor Achani, addressing a public gathering on Saturday, underscored the bill's intent, stating, “We have already passed the Finance bill and it is awaiting my approval for it to be a law. Anyone coming into Kwale County with a lorry of Muguka will have to pay Sh300,000.”

She emphasised that the steep increase would make Muguka prohibitively expensive, thereby limiting its accessibility and reducing its consumption.

“We have set the prices so that, even if Muguka reaches the County and sells, the person who cannot purchase it,” Achani added.

She refuted claims that she had previously supported the Muguka trade, arguing instead that the crop had caused more harm than good among Kwale's residents.

Governor Achani also called on the community to combat the use of other harmful substances such as bhang and other illegal drugs.

Her stance on Muguka followed a contentious debate, particularly after she chose not to implement a total ban, unlike her counterparts in Mombasa, Kilifi, and Taita Taveta counties.

The aforementioned counties had attempted to prohibit the sale and distribution of Muguka, but the High Court in Embu and President William Ruto overturned their bans.

Muguka traders had filed an urgent suit against these bans, resulting in Justice Lucy Njuguna issuing a restraining order that prevents the implementation of these bans until a hearing scheduled for July 8, 2024.

The ruling stated, "That the pending inter parties hearing and determination of this application a conservatory order be and is hereby granted restraining and/or stopping the respondents and or its agents from effecting, implementing and or enforcing Executive Order No. 1 issued on May 22, 2024, by the 1st Respondent and 2nd and 3rd Respondents to last until the 8th July 2024 when the application shall be heard interpreters."

Ruto also expressed government support for the Muguka-producing counties of Embu and Meru, further complicating the regional discourse on the stimulant.

Meanwhile, Achani urged residents to address their concerns with their MPs, highlighting the need for legislative measures to regulate the consumption of such substances.

Muguka is classified as a scheduled crop under the Crops Act 2013 and the Miraa Regulations 2023 passed by the National Assembly.

Governor Achani reaffirmed her administration's commitment to empowering youth affected by drug and substance abuse, aligning with broader efforts in the Coast region to tackle the pervasive issue of Muguka consumption.