Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho stole the show during Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga’s tour of Meru County on Monday, October 18.
He was among leaders who had accompanied Odinga on the trip to drum up support for his potential fifth stab at the Presidency in 2022. Others included Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed.
In Laare, Joho had the crowd going wild as he declared that his administration would no longer tax miraa transporters entering Mombasa County. Miraa transporters are charged cess tax – a form of tax charged by county governments on goods when they move across county borders.
Joho stated that he had decided to drop the tax after witnessing the welcome accorded to Raila in Meru – Kenya’s main Miraa (Khat) growing region.
“From today, the miraa coming into Mombasa will no longer be taxed,” Joho declared to wild cheers.
Joho, the ODM Deputy Party leader, echoed Raila’s message in which he promised to revitalize the miraa sector. The reclassification of Miraa as a controlled drug in the United Kingdom (UK) and majority of EU countries has dented farmers’ earnings over the past decade.
Raila asserted that if elected, his administration would focus on working to to open up new markets for Miraa including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has in recent times emerged as a new frontier for Kenyan firms including Equity Bank Group.
He further noted that existing markets for Miraa such as Somali would be expanded.
Raila also reiterated his support for the ‘One Man, One Vote, One Shilling’ revenue sharing formula that would see more funds distributed to densely populated counties.
Meru Governor Kiraitu urged residents of the county to support Raila to boost Miraa farmers’ earnings and the economy in general.