Meru Governor Peter Munya has defended his visit to Somaliland insisting he did not interfere with territorial integrity as claimed by the Somalia government.
The outspoken governor said that he does not regret visiting Hargeisa in his bid to fight for miraa farmers who depend on the crop.
Somalia Ambassador to Kenya Gamal Hassan heaped blame on Mr Munya’s visit to Hargeisa in July for the ban on miraa importation to the country saying it had caused political pressure in Somalia to have the trade stopped.
But Mr Munya, speaking at a public rally at Maili Tatu grounds in Igembe Central Sub-county on Thursday evening said he does not regret visiting Somali land to help miraa farmers.
He instead put the national government on the spot, saying despite opening a consulate office which was later closed, there has been no effort to lobby against the ban.
“During my Madarka Day speech, I talked about the crisis that would face the people of Nyambene after rumors did rounds that Somalia wanted to close the market.
It is out of these issues that I decided to go to Somaliland,” he said.
“Which army does Munya have which can interfere with the territorial integrity? That is mere propaganda and come rain or sunshine I will continue to agitate for the rights of the miraa farmers in Meru. Let the government deal with that matter. If they will not do that let them not come here in hunt for votes,” Mr Munya said.
The governor said it is the responsibility of the national government to open miraa markets in Somalia and other countries without politicizing the issue.
Elsewhere, some Meru ward representatives have also demanded that the national government engages in diplomatic talks with the Somalia government to lift the flight ban.
The MCAs who spoke at a press conference in Meru also defended Governor Munya saying he should not be blamed for having the interests of miraa farmers at heart.
Njia MCA Eunice Karema termed the allegations by the ambassador as false.
Nominated MCA Margaret Ntongai said the county was losing a lot of revenue since a lot of revenue is earned from miraa trade.
Karama ward MCA James Mugambi criticized his counterpart who led demonstrations in Maua on Wednesday against governor Munya.
“Some of them used derogative words against the governor. These are not words that should be spoken by leaders and it is embarrassing,” Mr Mugambi said.
(Reports by Kennedy Kimanthi, Dickson Mwiti and Isabel Githae.)
Source: Daily Nation