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Senator Omanga, atheists defend Nairobi sex workers

Monday December 4 2017

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga taking the oath of office at Parliament buildings on August 31, 2017. She has criticised members of Nairobi County Assembly over plans to pass a motion outlawing commercial sex work. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

ERIC MATARA
By ERIC MATARA
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NICHOLAS KOMU
By NICHOLAS KOMU
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Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga has criticised members of Nairobi County Assembly over plans to pass a motion outlawing commercial sex work.

The senator termed the move impulsive and unfair to the ‘poor’ commercial sex workers whom she said depend on the trade for survival.

The senator has now challenged the MCAs to provide alternative sources of livelihood for the commercial sex workers before condemning them.

“I strongly oppose the move and demand that commercial sex workers be given audience so that a proper solution is found. Many do not do it because they enjoy but  simply  because they need to survive,” posted Senator Omanga on Facebook.

Senator Omanga asked the leaders to critically look at the issue first.

PROHIBIT COMMERCIAL SEX

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Last week the MCAs moved a motion seeking to prohibit commercial sex in the county, claiming that the practice was being normalised 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.

The MCA raised concern about the rising number of the sex workers in Nairobi.

At the same time, atheists have come out in defence of commercial sex workers and given the MCAs two weeks to repeal the motion.

The atheists have threatened to take action against the MCAs if they do not rescind the motion.

RETROGRESSIVE

In a statement sent to newsrooms, Atheists in Kenya say the choice to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money is a private and should not be considered a crime, and that prostitution should be recognised as a form of trade.

“The passing of this law is unconstitutional, illegal, untenable and retrogressive. We are asking the Nairobi County Assembly to repeal this law within 14 days, or face unspecified action aimed at protecting the rights of prostitutes in Nairobi,” read in part the statement signed by AIK head Harrison Mumia.

 Last year, former Nairobi Health executive Bernard Muia said 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.