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Mandera traders Protest Ban on khat

Mandera miraa (khat) traders on Sunday morning engaged police in running battles over miraa ban in the region.

North Eastern counties have banned miraa sale in the region to curb corona virus infection.

Mandera miraa traders engage police in running battles over the cash crop sale in the region. Photo by Dickson Githaiga, KNA.

The traders said the crop is an important economic activity and the ban was affecting livelihoods in the region.

The angry demonstrators barricaded roads leading into Mandera town by burning tyres and blocking the Mandera-Nairobi highway.

Police tear-gassed protesters with one person injured in the skirmishes that police managed to contain.

Amina Gedi a miraa trader asked the county government to rescind its decision on miraa ban as traders were not consulted by the Ali Roba administration.

police in action

Amina said traders were exercising high hygienic standards by sanitizing their hands before handling the commodity.

“The county government has left us with no business without considering the plight of many residents who depend on khat to eke a livelihood,” said Amina.

The ban has been effected in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera with Bula Hawa in Somalia also banning the sale of the twig.

The government has asked citizens to take a personal responsibility in curbing the corona pandemic.

Kenya has so far reported seven confirmed coronavirus cases while globally, more than 300,000 people have been affected with an excess of 13,000 dying of the virus which first broke out in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

By Dickson Githaiga

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