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Pay to pray and shoot: New fees for artists, preachers to use city parks

Barely a year after Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja lifted the ban restricting photography in Nairobi CBD, the county has introduced new fees targeting preachers and artistes.

The proposed Finance Bill 2023 was tabled to the County Assembly by the County Executive Committee Member of Finance and Planning, Mr Charles Kerich.

The bill sets to boost the county’s own source of revenue for the Financial Year 2023/24, which is at Sh19.99 billion, higher than the previous target of Sh10 billion under the last administration.

During the budget reading, the CEC stated that the county government would be undertaking a combination of administrative tax measures and tax policy reforms through the Nairobi City County Revenue Authority (NCCRA) to meet its target.

The bill has several new areas of revenue collection and adjustments to the previous charges that the county will be using to maximize collection.

For instance, lunchtime preachers at the Jevanjee Gardens and those at the Kamukunji Grounds will now be paying Sh500 to the county every day if they want to spread the gospel.

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The lunchtime preachers thinking of preaching at the various City Parks will have to pay Sh1000 every day.

The proposed bill has not spared musicians who have been using City Parks and grounds to shoot music videos for their songs.

Secular music video shooting in the revamped Uhuru Park and Central Park per hour will cost Sh5, 000, which is the same amount to be paid by gospel music video shooting in the same areas.

Commercial video shooting in Uhuru Park and Central Park will cost Sh10000 per hour, while every music concert at Jevanjee Garden will attract a Sh5000 fee.

Charitable organisations planning to use City Parks will start paying Sh3, 000 every hour if the bill is approved.

The county has also introduced an annual Sh4000 fee for vendors using City Park, and Sh5000 for trading licenses of vendors.

The organised groups with less than 100 people using City Park will pay Sh5, 000 every year, while the organized group with more than 100 members will pay Sh10 000.

Religious rallies at Kamukunji Grounds will also pay Sh20, 000 per day.

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