• Influx of sex workers in Thika town cause alarm among traders and residents
• Traders accuse the twilight girls of harassing their customers.
Thika town residents and traders have raised the alarm over an influx of sex workers in the town.
Traders say that the twilight girls now operate outside their shops during the day thereby scaring their customers away.
Thika Business District Association chairman Alfred Wanyoike lamented that most businesses along Uhuru Street are on the verge of closing as the sex workers harass customers.
“Most traders are counting losses and are contemplating abandoning their businesses. The sex workers are notorious for hurling abuse at customers,” he said
There have been incidents where the sex workers have accused passers-by who of failing to pay for services and screaming, demanded money from them, Wanyokie said.
“No customer would ever go back there,” Wanyoike said.
The chairman said that couples passing by the route are not spared either as the sex workers insult the men accusing them owing them money.
“We are fed up and we’ll force them out of the town. They better take their filthy trade to their homes,” he said.
Wanyoike called on the Kiambu government to intervene and save the genuine traders who operate licensed businesses in the town.
He said traders are being forced out of the town by the shameless sex workers who are operating in the town 24 hours a day.
“Give these people funds like the Kiambu Jijenge funds or the women funds so that they can start their own businesses,” he said.
A trader, Daniel Mwangi accused the twilight girls of urinating and leaving used condoms outside our shops.
“This has really affected us since our customers have since left. We plead with the relevant authorities to take up the matter and flush them out,” Mwangi said.
Mwangi said that some selfish landlords in the town encourage the sex workers to advance their trade by renting out rooms for as little as Sh100.
Residents who patronise night clubs also accuse the twilight girls of spiking drinks with drugs and stealing money and other valuables from them.
Thika sub-county deputy police commander Bernard Ayoo said that police have been conducting swoops day and night in the town.
“We have been arresting the sex workers in our raids and we will continue to do so until we get rid of them from the town,” Ayoo said.
He said it was difficult to prefer charges against the sex workers because most of them are arrested on the streets and not in the act.
“We wish the courts can come up with stiffer penalties to deter them from continuing with their trade,” he said.
However, a sex worker who spoke to the Star in confidence said that students in the town have stiffened competition hence the reason they are operating even during daytime.
“We used to operate at night but students from the colleges within this area have taken the competition to another level and we rarely make any money,” she said.
The returns are better during the day, she said.
(edited by O. Owino)