Kenya’s Miraa traders have been granted continued access to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) following the intervention of Senate Deputy Speaker, Kathuri Murungi.
This intervention prompted the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to reverse its previous directive that would restrict traders from operating at JKIA.
In a meeting with KAA management, Deputy Speaker Murungi expressed concerns regarding KAA’s directive to relocate all miraa operations away from JKIA.
He argued that the directive lacked justification, and adequate planning, and did not involve key stakeholders.
“The directive doesn’t align with our commercial interests and is highly disruptive,” stated Mr Murungi.
KAA had issued a directive the previous week, instructing miraa exporters to utilise the Mitchell Cotts warehouse along Mombasa Road for processing their consignments before transport to the airport for international shipments.
Acting Managing Director Henry Ogoye explicitly mentioned that no miraa pickups would be permitted at JKIA, aligning with security meeting discussions.
This move led to discontent among miraa traders, who contended that it lacked proper consensus and was based on an unofficial directive.
They claimed that a previous meeting with Felix Koskei, the Head of Public Service, and other key stakeholders did not result in an agreement regarding their relocation.
Traders also expressed concern about the short notice provided by KAA, stating that it disrupted the agreements made during the prior meeting.
Kimathi Munjuri, Chairperson of the Nyambane Miraa Traders Association, criticized KAA for relocating them to Mitchell Cotts, a private warehouse, without their input or the opportunity to choose a preferred warehouse.