Kenya: CJ Martha Koome Proposes Bill to Decriminalise Prostitution 1

Kenya: CJ Martha Koome Proposes Bill to Decriminalise Prostitution

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Both men and women who engage in sex work will no longer be fined or jailed should a new bill be proposed by the Judiciary and passed into law. The Bill dubbed Penal Code( Amendment) Bill, 2023 that was presented by Chief Justice Martha Koome seeks to amend how the country deals with criminal offences and capital as well. Seçtions 153, 154 and 155 all penalise prostitution and also impose a prison sentence of three years. The Judiciary proposes to delete the above-named sections in the Penal Code so that the offences will not be recognized should the bill be passed into law.
Section 153 defines male prostitution as a male who lives on prostitution earnings, is proven to live with a prostitute or has aided in the prostitution act.
Part of the Penal Code reads,

“The principal Act is amended by deleting section 153 which states: Every male person who knowingly lives wholly or in part on the earnings of prostitution; or in any public place persistently solicits or importunes for immoral purposes, is guilty of a felony,”

Kenya: CJ Martha Koome Proposes Bill to Decriminalise Prostitution 2

 

Constitutional lawyer Bobby Mkangi confirmed that the removal of a section under the Penal Code means that it may result in the legal non-recognition of the offence.

“Where a male person is proved to live with or to be habitually in the company of a prostitute or is proved to have exercised control, direction or influence over the movements of a prostitute in such a manner as to show that he is aiding, abetting or compelling her prostitution with any other person, or generally, he shall unless he satisfies the court to the contrary be deemed to be knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution,”

This will also apply to women under Section 154 of the Penal Code. Part of the penal code reads,

“Every 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,”

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Kenya: CJ Martha Koome Proposes Bill to Decriminalise Prostitution 3 699

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