News

Flourishing bhang black market worries Kimana residents  

As they say that development comes with all manner of positive and negative effects, Kimana is slowly slipping into a gangland of some sort

BY KNU

Stacked in the southernmost part of Kajiado County, and minutes away from the Kenya-Tanzania border, Kimana town is buzzing with all manner of businesses.

It is located 15 km before Loitokitok town as you approach it from Emali town junction.

Before its current status, as a business hub in Kajiado’s South sub-county, Kimana for many years was a farmers’ town.

Today, the town has attracted business people from various parts of Kenya and neighboring Tanzania.

With an almost 24-hour economy, Kimana is the most financial fluid town after Bissil town in Kajiado Central sub-county.

The rising number of bars, eateries, banks, petrol stations, and fashion shops, tells the story of how Kimana has moved on from a sleeping town in early 2000 to date.

Infested with beauties from Tanzania, Makueni and other parts of the country, this cosmopolitan town is a dream destination for male holidaymakers.

Hundreds of farms around Kimana are attracting vegetable traders from as far as Nairobi and Mombasa.

The traders make merry in the town as they wait for tomatoes and other farm goods to be harvested.

The town’s livestock market attracts traders from as far as Tanzania, Makueni, Machakos and Nairobi, and during market days, all the lodgings are booked to capacity.

Most entertainment joints operate 24/7 and sell affordable drinks. There are no classes for such joints like in Nairobi or Mombasa.

As they say that development comes with all manner of positive and negative effects, Kimana is slowly slipping into a gangland of some sort.

It is reported that many youths have joined distribution gangs of illicit drugs such as cannabis Sativa, commonly called bhang locally, that are easily obtained from a neighbouring country.

Isaak Sayioki, a local human rights defender, says: “Most teenagers are now peddling dangerous drugs like cannabis sativa as others are selling residue leaves from ‘muguka’.

Catha edulis (khat) is a scientific name for muguka of miraa – it is a plant grown commonly found in Embu, Chuka and Mbeere. The people chew the leaves of khat for their stimulant action.

Miraa is chewed by the well-to-do in the society of users, while the cheaper muguka is consumed by the poor.

“Although it is not scientifically associated with physical addiction, it can cause psychological dependence,” says Sayioki.

Muguka, according to Sayioki, can cause many side effects including mood changes, increased alertness, excessive talkativeness, hyperactivity, excitement, aggressiveness, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, manic behaviour, paranoia, and psychoses.

He says teenagers are now enslaved by these substances and completely cannot work to support their parents or themselves anymore.

The worst thing teenagers can do is steal from local communities to get money for buying the cannabis Sativa and muguka.

Sayioki is calling members of the Nyumba Kumu, community elders and the police to put their heads together and attempt to bring control in Kimana town.

“These drugs are messing up the lives of the youths, who some of them dropped from school due to their indulgence in hard drugs,” says Sayioki.

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