Spitting on any footpath or blowing a nose instead of into a suitable cloth or tissue in Nairobi will now earn you six months behind bars or a fine of Sh10,000 or both if a new bill by the Nairobi County Assembly comes into law.
The same conviction will also face any person who knowingly lives wholly or partly on the earnings of prostitution.
The bill – Nairobi City County Public Nuisance Bill, 2020 – is currently under consideration by Nairobi MCAs where it is past the first the first reading with the new laws set to replace the old council by-laws that became obsolete with the coming in of county governments.
The bill by Riruta MCA James Kiriba is intended to control nuisances in public where public place means any square, building, park, recreational ground or open space which is vested in the Nairobi County government, the public has the right to use or is shown as a public place on the general plan of the county.
Riding a motorcycle or driving a vehicle on a footpath will henceforth be considered a public nuisance and an offence on public roads and streets.
In the same breadth, defecating or urinating on the street or any open space as well as lighting any fire on any public road or street without the consent of the county secretary will now be considered an offence.
Under the bill, a public nuisance has been defined as any act or omission which causes any common injury, damage or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public space.
Leaving a dog, one is in charge of, to foul a public road or street; washes, repairs or dismantles any vehicle except in the case of an emergency; in the central business district of the county allows any animal in such street as well as smokes cigarettes in public places and touts for passengers will henceforth be considered public nuisance.
Hawking, selling, distributing or advertising any article or event on any public road or street shouting or using any bell, gong, loudspeaker or other noisy instrument or driving any vehicle for the purpose of exhibiting advertisements without statutory authority will also attract punishment.
This is similar to playing any game in such a manner as to cause damage to property or cause injury to any person.
“Any person who commits an offence under this section is liable, upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine of not more than Sh10, 000 or both,” reads in part the bill.
Keeping within the city county any animal or poultry which is a nuisance to the residents in the neighbourhood will render an individual guilty of an offence.
This is same to residing or sleeping in any kitchen or room in which foodstuff are prepared or stored for sale with any person who contravenes the provision guilty of an offence and liable in the case of a first offence, to a fine not exceeding Sh50,000 or to imprisonment to term not exceeding six months or both.
“In case of a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding Sh100, 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both,” the bill reads.
Having a hedge, tree or other growth placed or in such conditions as to be a danger to a person or vehicle using a street or to interfere with the view along any street or from one street into another or the use of the street by pedestrians or vehicular traffic will be considered an offence of encroachment attracting similar conviction terms as above.
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