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Kenyan MPs want govt to facilitate "khat" exports September 16, 2005 - Angola Press
Nairobi, Kenya, 09/16 - Three Kenyan legislators from the country`s Eastern Province Thursday urged the government to facilitate the export of a popular stimulant herb, "khat," to Middle Eastern markets to enable farmers from the region earn better returns.
MPs Kilemi Mwiria, Raphael Muriungi and Peter Munya, who hail from Meru District, where the stimulant is grown in abundance, noted that the country could double the 91 billion shillings (1.2 million US dollars) earned annually in foreign exchange from the sale of "khat" if the government opened Middle Eastern markets.
The MPs, in a joint statement, also requested the authorities to renegotiate with their Tanzanian counterparts a review on the ban of the crop to allow Kenyans to sell "khat" in the country.
They recalled that many Kenyans have, in the recent past, been arrested and jailed for what has been described as "trafficking" khat into Tanzania yet there was scientific proof that the twig was not a narcotics drug.
In Tanzania, "khat" is proscribed and classified as a narcotics drug and the minimum sentence for traffickers and sellers of the crop is life imprisonment.
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