Munya to blame for Somalia's Miraa ban, says envoy
07 September 2016, 12:36
Nairobi - Meru Governor Peter Munya has been accused of being behind the ban by Somalia on miraa imports from Kenya.
Somalia Tuesday announced a temporary ban on miraa being imported from Kenya.
Somali Ambassador to Kenya Gamal Hassan, as quoted by The Star, said the Governor's visit to Hargeisa in July had compelled Somalia to ban the trade since he had caused more rift in the region.
Hassan said Munya had "used the business to campaign for the breakup of the country."
Somalia is the largest market for Kenya's miraa; more than 16 planes carrying the plant enter Somalia every day.
According to Hassan, Munya linked the territorial integrity of the country to the Miraa trade and interfered in the internal affairs of the country. This has created a lot of unbearable pressure on the government. We have suspended the trade to have these matters addressed, Hassan was quoted by the Daily Nation.
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During the visit to Hargeisa Munya reportedly met Somaliland's Deputy President Abdurrahman Ishmael, the Foreign Affairs and Finance Minister to lobby for better trade rules for Kenyan miraa exporters in exchange for recognition.
Hargeisa is the second largest city in Somalia after Mogadishu and also the capital of Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland.
Officials and leaders from Mogadishu claim Munya's meeting with Somaliland leaders compromised their chances to re-unite with the breakaway territory and have a united Somalia.
On Monday, Somalia announced the ban by restricting all flights ferrying Miraa from Kenya into the region.
The latest sanction will serve as a major blow to traders considering earlier bans by the UK and Netherlands.
Kenya reportedly sends about 540 planeloads of miraa to Somalia every month.
In a different report on The Standard, as much as KES 50 million worth of Miraa is stuck in Nairobi, a day after the ban was enforced.