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Mombasa sex workers protest against harassment by police, clients


Mombasa sex workers took to the streets on Tuesday protesting against violation of their rights by police officer and clients.
They demonstrated along Moi avenue, through Nkrumah road to the County Commissioner’s office in Mombasa demanding proper investigations into the murder of their colleagues.
They condemned recent killings of three of their colleagues at different clubs in Mombasa and appealed to the police to conduct proper investigations and arrest all those involved in the inhuman act.
“We are also human beings; we are your mothers, wives and sisters,” said one of them.
Both female and male sex workers drawn from Mombasa and Kilifi counties participated in the demonstrations which started at the Uhuru gardens in Mombasa.

Sex worker killed at Casa Blanca club; no arrests made

The Coast Sex Workers Alliance (COSWA) held similar demonstrations barely two weeks ago after one of their colleague, Martha Simiyu was murdered at Casa Blanca club along Moi avenue Mombasa.
“She was drinking with a client the same evening she was murdered and left in one of the rooms in the club,” said Benta Joseph, the COSWA Director.
“We thought all was well until we saw Martha’s body lying in a pool of blood in one of the rooms she went with the client,” added Benta.
Police found the body alongside unused condoms but no one was arrested or interrogated including the club owner.
Benta lamented that since the killings last month, no suspect has been brought to book.

10,500 registered sex workers in Mombasa

A social worker at the Coast Sex workers Alliance, Esther Nelima said that Mombasa has 10,500 registered sex workers though the number of unregistered sex workers could surpass that of the registered ones.
“We need to fight for their rights since the situation is getting worse and out of hand,” She said.
“These people are raped, sodomised and strangled to death by their clients; we should not keep quiet. They are our mothers and sisters,” added Ms Nelima.
She said the oldest sex worker is 68-years-old while the youngest is 16 and a member of the alliance.

Meeting with bar and club owners

Mombasa Women representative aspirant, Mariam Antonet famously known as Digida was among the protestors who stood up with the sex workers in Tuesday’s demos.
After they handed over the petition to the County Commissioners’ office, the County commissioner Evans Achoki held a meeting with bar and club owners in Mombasa to solve the insecurity crisis and stop the killings within their business premises.

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