Sex workers denied permit to demonstrate over colleagues death

Men putting the body of the Sex worker who was murdered at Casablanca in a police car. PHOTO: WELDON KEMBOI.

Mombasa, KENYA: Commercial sex workers in Mombasa have decried the increased cases of attacks against them in the county.

Their attempts to demonstrate on the streets of Mombasa on Tuesday were cut short after police denied them permit.

The commercial sex workers wanted to demonstrate following the death of a colleague only known as Martha who was allegedly killed by client in a lodging belonging to popular Casablanca club.

Speaking to Baraka FM on Tuesday, Coast Sex Workers Association official Esther Nelima said since last month (February) three of their colleagues have been killed in mysterious circumstances.

Nelima said Mombasa County has approximately 11,500 sex workers with most aged between ages 16 and 68 years old comprising both men and women.

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity, alleged that Martha was killed by a male client who claims she had infected him with HIV.

Martha who was a mother of one aged 8 months old, was found murdered on Sunday.

“She was not seen until the afternoon of the following day when we raised an alarm. Later we found out she had been butchered and left behind,” she said.

A shocked Nelima said the deceased did not hold any grudge and that she was the one who paid for the lodging before she went in with the man.

According to Nelima, another colleague was killed in Shanzu after she was picked by a client in Sabasaba area in town.

Martha’s family has since traveled from Busia to pick her body which is lying at the Coast General hospital mortuary.

Meanwhile, Baraka FM has also been reliably informed that a woman who was gang raped in Kibarani area in Mombasa was a reforming commercial sex worker.

According to the sex workers, she was one of them but had opted to leave the trade but some of the men who had been her customers found it hard to let her go, alleging that it was one of the reasons that contributed to the unfortunate incident that happened to her.