Miraa export to Mogadishu halted over tax dispute

BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,26TH FEB 2017-Miraa traders in the country  have ceased  exporting miraa to Mogadishu, Somalia, over tax dispute.

They  are protesting a move by the Mogadishu local government to increase tax on miraa.

The three-day boycott is now threatening to take its toll on miraa farmers as traders are forced to ship all the produce to other parts of Somalia.

Nyambene Miraa Traders Association (Nyamita) spokesman Kimathi Munjuri said the Mogadishu authorities had increased the tax from Sh309 ($3) to Sh360.5 ($3.5) per kilo of khat.

He said Mogadishu, the largest miraa export market, takes in about 50 tonnes of miraa daily, valued at more than Sh100 million.



The traders  lament that the Somalia authorities have been giving hasty directives that have hurt the business severally.

“Miraa traders do not get prior communication on changes that have significant impact on the business. We learn of new directives once the cargo planes land in Mogadishu or while we are preparing to transport,”  said one miraa trader who  sought anonymity.

He said they also suffered losses during the presidential elections in Somalia after orders of about 50 tons of miraa were cancelled.

Mr Munjuri also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release the Miraa Taskforce report to address the problems facing farmers.
“We are concerned that despite the president promising that the report would be out three weeks ago, nothing is forthcoming,” he said.

Miraa Taskforce Chairman Nchooro M’Mwenda said the report is ready and would be given to the President any time.

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