Kenya Miraa Farmers and Traders Association (KEMIFATA) now wants the court to reinstate conservatory orders restraining NACADA from implementing its decision to regulate and restrict consumption of miraa (khat) between 5 pm and 10 pm.
The Association through lawyer Henry Kurauka told justice Chacha Mwita that the matter which had been dismissed for failure of appearance by the parties as no notice was served upon them by the court registry.
KEMIFATA officials and its advocates learned of the dismissal in the Standard newspaper on 2nd November 2017.
The Association avers that NACADA has illegally, unlawfully and without any reasonable basis purported to regulate and restrict consumption of miraa from 5 pm to 10 pm without basis and participation of stakeholders such as farmers, traders and consumers.
The association argues that miraa is scientifically classified as a mild stimulant just like coffee and tea which has no timelines for consumption.
“The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (Control) Act No.4 of 1994 does not list miraa as one of the prohibited substances,” says Kurauka.
They further argue that the action by the respondents has adversely affected marketing and income of miraa because their campaign caused other countries such as the United Kingdom and Netherlands to implement a legislation that banned miraa sale and consumption in those countries.
The petitioner further argues that the National Assembly recently passed an amendment to include miraa in the schedule of cash crops in Kenya.
“The petitioner and members of the public stand to suffer irreparable loss and great inconvenience if NACADA is allowed to implement the decision without a legislative mechanism and participation of all stakeholders,” they argue.
The claims that the action is against the government’s manifesto to reduce poverty and lower the cost of living. They argue that there is no national interest, threat and inconvenience to bar miraa farming, trading, marketing and consumption.
The petitioners aver that NACADA is capable of working out a mechanism to ensure that miraa is protected by enacting legislation to protect miraa farming, trading, processing, sale, export and marketing.
However, Justice Mwita directed the parties to be served and before reinstating the matter. He directed the matter to be heard inter parties on 17th November.