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Why MCAs want commercial sex banned in Nairobi

By COLLINS OMULO December 1st, 2017 2 min read

Nairobi County government is on its way to becoming the first devolved unit to pass a motion outlawing commercial sex in the country.

This comes after Member of County Assembly (MCAs) set in motion debate seeking to prohibit commercial sex in the county complaining that the practice was being normalized in the county with most high end homes and restaurants in Nairobi having been turned into brothels.

The motion was moved by Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course MCA Mwangi Abraham Njihia on Thursday who raised concerns on the increase of the number of the sex workers which he faulted for the increased immorality and sexually transmitted diseases among the young people in the county.

“I am deeply concerned that this business is today happening rampantly and openly within our communities without repercussions on the offenders as provided for in law; this Assembly urges the Executive to move with speed and robustly enforce the provisions of the law to deter commercial sex in the County,” Mr Njihia said.

ODM nominated MCA Mellab Atema seconded the motion decrying how the practice was contributing to the erosion of African culture while urging the county to look for a way of helping young boys and girls who are the most vulnerable.

“There is need to get those involved in this business back to the society and rehabilitate them,” Ms Atema said.

Other MCAs also supported the motion alleging that most brothels in the city were being branded as massage parlors, especially in areas like Yaya Centre in Hurlingham and Adams Acarde being cited as some of the popular zones with such parlors.


Nominated MCA Leah Naikanae raised concern that the vice has now even penetrated to even well-educated and well of ladies contrary to popular belief that it was only the reserve of individuals from poor backgrounds.

Imara Daima MCA Kennedy Obura, on the other hand, blamed digital parents who are hardly at home and have abdicated their parental duties of monitoring their children, as a factor increasing the number of young girls getting into the practice.

“Prostitution starts right from the pubs where there are no age restrictions. As a parent it is my responsibility to enlighten my children on what is right and what is wrong. Morally upbringing is very important,” said Obura.

The debate will proceed on Tuesday, December 5 when the MCAs resume their sittings from the weekend break.

Last year, former Nairobi County Health executive Bernard Muia said that the county had 29,000 commercial sex workers with 11,000 of them being men who have sex with other men.

Prostitution is illegal in Kenya with sections 153 and 154 of the Penal Code prohibiting both men and women from living wholly or partly on earnings of prostitution. Nevertheless, it does not provide for unfair arrests or abuse of the rights of the workers.

In Nairobi, arrests of sex workers have been made on grounds of being a ‘nuisance’ but they end up being released after ‘bribing’ the authority.