How Munya’s visit to Somaliland caused ban on miraa – State House
State House had explained the circumstances that prompted the Somali government to ban importation of miraa from Kenya.
In a press briefing on Sunday, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said that the Somalia Government interpreted Munya’s visit to Somaliland as Kenya’s recognition of the region as an independent state thus imposing the ban.
“The Governor of Meru travelled to Somalia to a region known as Somaliland and purported to reach an agreement with the authority there about miraa exports to that region,” stated Esipisu.
“Whatever his intentions good or otherwise, the governor held discussions with what amounts to regional administration without the knowledge of the Federal Government of Somalia or consultation or advice from Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
He warned governors against engaging in talks with other countries without consultation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying that doing so may jeopardize Kenya’s relations with those countries.
“Governors including Munya should know that they do not run sovereign states and cannot hold discussions with sovereign government entities in other countries without consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and getting authority of concerned governments,” he said.
“Talking to government takes a certain level of decorum and protocol and is not like talking to private enterprises. County governments are similar to regional administrations and do not hold such powers.”
He added that President Kenyatta had engaged with his Somali counterpart on the sidelines of the IGAD summit last week and assured him that Kenya did not recognize breakaway regions of Somalia and emphasized that the confusion was caused by “Governor Munya whose understanding of foreign affairs is ill-informed.”
Munya had last week asked the government to come clean on the miraa row between Kenya and Somalia over miraa exportation saying he had no powers to force the ban.
Addressing residents of Maua on Saturday, Munya said that the government has crafted propaganda to blame him for Somalia’s ban on miraa importation from Kenya as a means to fight him politically.
“The government should do its job to ensure the government of Somalia lifts the ban on miraa importation from Kenya. In fact, there should be further intergovernmental negotiations between the government of Kenya and those of the UK and Netherlands to ensure similar bans are lifted,” he said.
“Blaming me for the ban on miraa exportation is just a political ploy because the government was there first even before I visited.”
Munya said that the government had opened an office in Somaliland and even sent 15,000 officials to work there before later closing it.
Miraa is considered a major income earner for most farmers in Meru.
Twenty five cargo planes transported miraa from Nairobi to Mogadishu in Somalia on Thursday, just a day after the Somali government lifted the ban.
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