Pubdate: Fri, 16 May 2014
Source: Dispatch (South Africa)
Copyright: 2014 Dispatch.
Page: 6


FURIOUS Kenyan lawmakers have submitted a parliamentary motion to 
seize British-owned land, if the former colonial power does not 
rescind its ban on multimillion-dollar exports of the "herbal high" 
khat, reports said yesterday.

MPs from Kenya's central Meru region, the country's key khat-growing 
area, urged the government to consider repossessing farms occupied by 
British farmers.

The motion read in parliament on Wednesday called for "compulsorily 
acquiring all land owned or acquired by the British," The Standard 
newspaper reported.

Khat - called miraa in Kenya - is the leaves and shoots of the shrub 
Catha edulis, which are chewed to obtain a mild stimulant effect.

Last year Britain classified khat as a drug, effectively closing 
Kenya's last khat market in Europe.

Lawmakers from the region have made a string of demands to keep the 
khat business going.

Kenya won independence from Britain in 1963, but British farmers 
continue to own vast tracts of the East African nation.

While khat is grown across the Horn of Africa largely for domestic 
and regional use, most of Kenya's crop is cultivated for export. - AFP
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