Prostitution is still illegal – Mayor

February 5, 2012 3:34 pm


Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa/ FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa announced Sunday that the council will continue carrying out a crackdown on prostitutes as it awaits recommendations of a committee formed on Friday to look into their grievances.

Aladwa said the committee looking into grievances of the commercial sex workers has two weeks to submit its report which will inform the council on ways of handling the matter.

“As we await the recommendations of this team, we will continue arresting them so that they can face the law. What they are doing is illegal,” Aladwa said adding “we will not arrest twilight girls alone, we are going to arrest even their clients from now.”

On Friday, the mayor had announced that among the measures the council was likely to take was designating red light zones for the commercial sex workers to ply their trade.

“I did not say we are going to legalise prostitution; I just gave a proposal but the report by the team is very critical and that is what we are awaiting before we make a decision because these commercial sex workers have been complaining of harassment by our officers,” he told journalists during a press conference in his office.

Aladwa said some of the people criticising his remarks are beneficiaries of the sex trade in Nairobi.

“You have seen a lot of people coming out to castigate my remarks, we know some of them are beneficiaries of these businesses and that is why they are shouting the loudest,” he said, without naming anyone.

Since Friday when he made the remarks, various individuals have expressed mixed reactions with others saying legalizing abortion will be tantamount to legalizing immorality.

Others have however, lauded his remarks saying commercial sex workers’ rights must be respected.
Commercial sex work is currently illegal in Kenya and those found practicing it on the streets are often harassed and arrested.

Curiously, only women are arrested whenever they are found plying the age-old trade while their male clients are seldom put behind bars. The mayor has announced that their askaris are under instructions to arrest both men and women involved.

In Nairobi, the police and council officers often conduct swoops on the streets where they arrest female commercial sex workers.

When presented to court, the women are often charged with loitering.

Last week, 26 women were arrested for the offence in Parklands and Westlands.


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