THE Wajir South Professional Forum has been enjoined in a case challenging the classification of Miraa as a narcotic drug. High Court judge David Majanja yesterday ruled that the forum be allowed to join the proceedings so that court "benefits from another view on the subject matter".
The issue in the case revolves around Miraa and whether it should be classified as a narcotic drug. Nyambene Miraa Traders Association moved to court two months ago seeking a temporary order preventing Nacada from implementing their decision in declaring Miraa as a Narcotic drug. The Wajir forum supports the classification of miraa as a narcotic drug.
"It has pointed to an interest based on the effect of miraa on the community it serves," said the Judge. The group believes that the classification of Miraa as a Narcotic drug has been long overdue and it's a positive step for their community and Kenyans.
"The abuse of Miraa by a large part of the population has contributed greatly to the under development of the North Eastern region and its addictive and has the effect of making the abusers adopt a care free attitude thus affecting their day to day lives," they state.
They argue that in classifying the crop as a drug, it will help in ensuring that the consumers are properly educated on the effects of Miraa and it will also help reduce the adverse effects it has had on its abusers which renders the abusers unproductive in life.
They also claim that Wajir south and indeed the entire North Eastern region is a region that is greatly affected with the use and abuse of miraa and thus the applicants have a legitimate interest in the petition. "There is need for the court to hear parties who have been adversely affected by the use or abuse of Miraa," read part of the court document.
But the Nyambene farmers argue that Miraa has greatly empowered other inter-related subsectors such as agricultural and commercial and improved government revenue through licenses and taxes. "Miraa is medicinal as its chews have less risk of contracting high blood pressure, diabetes, cancerous cells and boosts brain performance," they claim.
They further claimed that they have been consuming Miraa for decades without any medical or social adverse effects. "There is no known medical problem associated with consumption of Miraa. There are no rehabilitation centres for Miraa users," they said.