County Assembly seeking to criminalise spitting, blowing of nose 

A dog and its owner on a heap of garbage at Muthurwa market, Nairobi. According to the Nairobi City County Public Nuisance Bill 2020, an owner of a dog that fouls a street or public road will be fined.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo

What you need to know:

  • Defecating or urinating on a street or open space as well as lighting fires on a road or street without authority of the county secretary will also be a punishable offence. 
  • The laws are expected to replace the Nairobi City Council by-laws that have been overtaken by events following devolution.

Spitting on a footpath or blowing one’s nose anywhere other than into a suitable cloth or tissue in Nairobi will now earn one a six-month jail term, a Sh10,000 fine or both if ward representatives pass a Bill tabled in the House.

The same punishment will befall anyone who knowingly lives off prostitution. 

The Nairobi City County Public Nuisance Bill 2020 is past the first reading.

The laws are expected to replace the Nairobi City Council by-laws that have been overtaken by events following devolution.

The Bill is sponsored by Riruta Ward Representative James Kiriba. 

Riding a motorcycle or driving on a footpath will be considered public nuisance.

Defecating or urinating on a street or open space as well as lighting fires on a road or street without authority of the county secretary will be a punishable offence. 

The bill defines public nuisance as an act or omission that causes common injury, damage or annoyance to the public or to the people who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity of the act. 

Other crimes under the proposed law are leaving a dog one is in charge of to foul a road or street, washing, repairing or dismantling a vehicle except in the case of an emergency in the city centre, smoking in public places and touting for passengers.

Public nuisance

Hawking, selling, distributing or advertising an article or event on a public road or street, shouting or using a bell, gong, loudspeaker or other noisy instrument or driving a vehicle for the purpose of exhibiting advertisements without statutory authority will also attract punishment.

This will also be the case when one plays a game in a manner as to cause damage to property or causes injury.

Any person who commits an offence under this section is liable, upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine of not more than Sh10,000 or both.

Keeping an animal, including poultry, that becomes a nuisance in the neighbourhood will be considered an offence.

Residing or sleeping in a kitchen or room in which food is prepared or stored for sale will attract a fine not exceeding Sh50,000, a six-month prison term or both.

“In case of a subsequent offence, the fine will not exceed Sh100,000 or jail term of a year 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 will be considered an offence.