Banning prostitution in Nairobi is a problem rather than a solution.
The business of any government is to commit and manufacture sin; as the definition goes that sin is an immoral act considered a transgression against divine law. But what is divine law?
Every time a government makes a mistake, it never fails. The system that runs the engine of the government is always there to support if it senses collapse. New ways to solve emerging problems are devised and implemented.
Prostitution in major county headquarters has been on the rise for a number of reasons not limited to economic growth, poverty, unemployment, and rural to urban migration, among others.
The counties are developing measures to curb what is considered sin by many in the populace. None however is developing ways that would be considered evolutionary, for example the introduction of sin tax applied in many other cities.
Sin tax is a state-sponsored levy that is added to products or services that are seen as vices by the majority at a particular place and time.
These taxes are levied by governments to discourage individuals from partaking of such goods or activities without making the use of the products illegal.
An observation analysis would reveal that sin tax on prostitution (regarded in the league of the most profitable businesses) is widespread but undercover.
For example, if Nairobi county has 1,000 sex workers, both male and female, each earning Sh1,000, the total income would be Sh1 million daily, Sh30 million monthly and Sh360 million annually.
Common sense dictates that this number of sex workers in a population of 3,138,369, according to the 2009 National Census, is a misrepresentative sample.
The annual income for the sex workers in Nairobi thus would be more than and not less than Sh360 million annually. The annual undercover sin tax would be approximately Sh60 million annually – Sh5 million monthly – Sh166,667 daily. But who takes it?
In some parts of the developed world prostitution has been legalised. In Nevada, for instance, prostitutes are required to be tested weekly for STDs and monthly for HIV and syphilis. Since 1988, it has been mandatory for them to use condoms. Brothel owners are liable if a customer becomes infected with HIV after visiting one of their prostitutes. Since 1986, no full-time commercial sex worker has been tested positive for HIV.
The average annual income of an employee at one Nevada brothel working only one week per month is at least $100,000 (Sh10.3 million). Based on this figure, each legally licensed sex worker would contribute more than $20,000 (Sh2 million) in federal income taxes per year.
Considering that current estimations show over one million prostituted women in America, the tax revenue generated by this industry could be a staggering $20 billion (Sh2 trillion) per year.
The number of unemployed youth is steadily rising, employment opportunities are increasingly decreasing. If a Bill were to be passed legalising prostitution and sin tax introduced, joblessness would have been solved.
The national and the county governments are losing on tax revenue. Banning prostitution is limiting the freedoms and rights of the citizens. Moreover, everyone knows prostitution will go on, even if the Bill passes as law.
Postponing legalisation of prostitution is postponing legalisation that will happen in the near modern future.
No matter how you think about it, remember there is a thin line between government and sin.
Postgraduate student, UoN
- Thank you for participating in discussions on The Star, Kenya website. You are welcome to comment and debate issues, however take note that:
- Comments that are abusive; defamatory; obscene; promote or incite violence, terrorism, illegal acts, hate speech, or hatred on the grounds of race, ethnicity, cultural identity, religious belief, disability, gender, identity or sexual orientation, or are otherwise objectionable in the Star’s reasonable discretion shall not be tolerated and will be deleted.
- Comments that contain unwarranted personal abuse will be deleted.
- Strong personal criticism is acceptable if justified by facts and arguments.
- Deviation from points of discussion may lead to deletion of comments.
- Failure to adhere to this policy and guidelines may lead to blocking of offending users. Our moderator’s decision to block offending users is final.