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Chief Justice Martha Koome has proposed a bill suggesting that those involved in prostitution will no longer face jail terms.

The CJ wants Sections 153, 154, and 155 in the Penal Code deleted, meaning the laws governing the activity will not be recognised
She further stated that the newly proposed bill will modify the Penal Code in order to provide protection for intersex individuals who are part of the criminal justice system.

Chief Justice Martha Koome has proposed a bill seeking to decriminalise prostitution, offering hope and support instead of punitive measures.

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If the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2023, is passed into law, the country will have a different way of looking into criminal and capital offences.

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The Judiciary suggests deleting sections 153, 154, and 155 in the Penal Code, which currently imposes a three-year prison term, and amending the Principal Act, also known as Section 4 of the Penal Code.

As reported by Citizen Digital, the bill’s approval by  Parliament will result in the offences losing their recognition.

Is prostitution legal in Kenya?
The current Section 153 defines male prostitution as a male person who lives on the earnings of prostitution, is proven to live with a prostitute, or has aided in the act of prostitution.

“The principal Act is amended by deleting Section 153, which states: “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 over the movements of a prostitute in such a manner as to show that he is aiding her prostitution with any other person, he shall, unless he satisfies the court to the contrary, be deemed to be knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution,” reads part of the Penal Code.

Section 154 of the Penal Code states:

“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,” reads part of the Penal Code.

According to Section 155 of the law, if a house is being used for the purpose of prostitution and its occupants are dependent on the earnings from the activity, a magistrate is required to issue a warrant.

The warrant authorised any police officer to enter and search the premises and arrest the individuals involved.

Koome has stated that the main aim of this bill is to modify the Penal Code by incorporating human rights-based language that is more favourable towards people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.

Additionally, the proposed legislation aims to modify the Penal Code in order to provide protection for intersex individuals who are part of the criminal justice system.

In a related story self-acclaimed People’s Watchman, Boniface Mwangi has attacked the Chief Justice for being a busybody given to the pursuit of inane matters.

Boniface Mwangi blasts Martha Koome
In July this year, self-declared activist, Boniface Mwangi, claimed that CJ Koome was to blame for laxity in courts.

Mwangi stated that the CJ is always busy with duties that do not concern the country.

“Every time she’s travelling, she’s in a seminar, she’s on a road trip, she’s abroad; she never does any work. So as the head of the judiciary, people who work under her reflect and behave. Because if you go to court and you’ve been there for five hours, there is no one because the judges are either drinking tea or loitering about,” he said.

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