Gov’t asks Internal Affairs Ministry to Oversee Khat Distribution


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Anifa Kawooya Bangirana, the state’s minister of health, met with representatives from the Parliamentary Committee and the National Drug Authority (NDA) today, July 12, 2023, to address the Narcotics drug and Psychotropic substances(control) Bill. She issued a directive to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the NDA to restrict the production, distribution, and use of narcotic medications.

‘The Ministry of Internal Affairs should supervise cultivation and distribution, while the National Drug Authority should only be involved in the processing of Khat (mairungi) because it can be used for therapeutic purposes,” stated Kawooya.

Kawooya stated that, because Khat has medical properties, it cannot be fully prohibited; rather, its usage and cultivation should be restricted. That is where the ministry of internal affairs enters the picture. Furthermore, the amount grown should be restricted.

According to Amos Atumanya, a senior inspector with the NDA, it is not a narcotic medication but does contain components that excite the mind and influence behaviour.

“So we are saying that given the potential of its medicinal purpose, Khat should not be completely prohibited because there are other mind-altering drugs that are used but in controlled amounts,” Atumanya explained.

According to Atumanya, while Khat has medicinal potential, it is not being used for medical purposes.

In the coming days, the committee will continue to receive replies from other related stakeholder groups in order to provide insights on the bill, which will then be presented to parliament as a report.

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