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Mixed reactions as MCAs move to ban commercial sex in the city

By Wambui Mbuthia | Dec 2nd 2017 | 3 min read

Sections 153 and 154 of the Penal Code state that every man or woman who knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution, or who is proved to have, for the purpose of gain, exercised control, direction or influence over the movements of a prostitute in such a manner as to show that she is aiding, abetting or compelling her prostitution with any person, or generally, is guilty of a felony.

For ages, commercial sex activities have been an illegal trade in the country. Although many do not know, the business goes on especially in the city, right under the watch of authorities.

Sex sellers have been able to bribe their way out whenever they get arrested for ‘misbehaving’, as the authorities are known to say.

Members of Nairobi County Assembly led by MCA for Woodley Kenyatta Golf Course ward, Mwangi Njihia passed a motion prohibiting commercial sex in the City.

The section of leaders urged Governor Mike Sonko to move with speed and robustly enforce the provisions of the law to deter commercial sex in the county.

The main reason for this motion they said, is because the number of commercial sex workers has increased hence increased transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and high levels of immorality.

Njihia’s sentiments were echoed by Nominated MCA Mellab Atema who said the practice was causing erosion of the African culture.

Atema urged the County Assembly to save Nairobi youth who are most vulnerable from the vice and diseases that come with it.

“We need to plan on how to get those involved in this business back to the society and rehabilitate them. However hard it may seem, we have to act,” said Atema.

Nominated MCA Leah Naikanae, however, countered the reasoning that those involved were doing so in much of a living. Leah said that the vice has slithered even to well-educated people in the society.

Some MCAs also sighted the operation of many sex trade stalls under the pretense of massage parlours even in uptown zones.

The motion, which was mentioned on Thursday will proceed on December 5.

The motion to ban prostitution from Nairobi was received in different lights by Kenyans on social media. Some felt that the MCAs have more urgent things they should deal with while others agreed that prostitution is a sour wound in the society.

Here are some of the sentiments;

We shouldn't be criminalizing prostitution in Kenya! we should be regulating it to ensure that both the women & their clients are safe! This is a step back in fighting HIV/Aids prevalence in the country.— Uhuru Kenyatta is Not My President (@wick254) December 2, 2017

How can you ban something which is illegal? Effects of electing college dropouts in the name of MCAs.— IG:@omwandez (@Omwandez_Kevin) December 2, 2017

These MCAs should first ban the ongoing blatant looting of taxpayers' money.— gideon mbatha (@gidmj2010) December 2, 2017

inspite of all the difficulties they maybe facing economically,,prostitution cant be the solution. they must just find smth to do.— Kevo (@DandeKevo) December 2, 2017

Oh yes Its good motion. Wamereta aibu sana jijini Nairobi— ERICK ZACHARIAH (@ErickZachari) December 2, 2017

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