NATION/Otiato Guguyo – The Nairobi County Assembly has voted to remove sex workers from the City centre.
Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) had to vote three times to break the tie in the motion.
The motion by Ms Jane Mwasia compelled the county executive to act fast on the influx of sex workers operating openly in the CBD.
The deputy speaker, Mr Ken Ngondi, twice ruled in favour of the motion but backed down after MCAs loudly cast doubts over the vote by acclamation.
Only after a physical vote and count did the motion pass.
Male MCAs who had openly opposed the motion during the debate turned around and voted for it while some abstained.
Four women were among the 13 MCAs who voted against the motion while its proponents garnered 28 members.
Three of the members present abstained while the rest of the house was away.
The debate which culminated in the first ever physical vote in the House drew mixed emotions from the MCAs.
Some suggested that a building be put up to accommodate the sex workers after they are removed from the streets.
“I have no problem with the sex workers because most of them are unemployed. In fact, we should set up a building for them instead of leaving them out there in the street,” said Mr Kennedy Nyarumba, popularly known as ‘sirkal’.
Mr Manoah Mboko brought another angle to the debate when he suggested that the solution was not to push the sex workers out of the CBD but to marry them.
He added that the sex workers contributed greatly to Nairobi’s 24-hour economy.
“These members are cheating you Mr Speaker. Polygamy is the only viable solution. In fact, sex workers are of great benefit to some men who are constantly being beaten or nagged in their houses,” Mr Mboko said.
Mr Jack Ngare drew laughter when he said the world was a market and people should be allowed to sell what they possessed.
He alluded to a story in the Bible in which Jesus Christ spoke well of a prostitute. He then asked any of the MCAs without fault “to be the first to cast a stone”.
The Minority leader, Mr Elias Otieno, who voted for the motion had called for the sex workers to have designated areas where their customers could find them using the internet.
The male MCAs drew much criticism from their female counterparts who decried the “moral degradation” in the Assembly.