The group would pay prostitutes so they would participate in the strike, Subow said.

'Not punishment'

Ida Odinga, the wife of the prime minister, Raila Odinga, said on Thursday that she would join the strike to protest against divisions between her husband and the country's president.

"This should not be seen as a punishment to men, it is a measure that is aimed at drawing their attention to the real issues," she said.

It was not clear whether the wife of Mwai Kibaki, the president, would join the strike.

The east African country has been in political turmoil since a presidential election in December 2007 which Odinga accused Kibaki of stealing.

Protests led to violence that killed more than 1,000 people and left more than 600,000 homeless.

The two rivals were pressed into a power-sharing deal by the international community but disputes have crippled the coalition government and fuelled wide popular discontent.