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Reprieve for city preachers and artists as Sakaja makes u-turn in imposing fees

Lunchtime preachers and artists in various parks across Nairobi County can now breathe a sigh of relief after the county government decided to drop its earlier plan to impose daily fees on them.

The Finance Act 2023, signed by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, brings good news to preachers who regularly share their messages in Jeevanjee Gardens, Uhuru Park, and other public areas.

According to the Act, these preachers will no longer be subjected to daily charges for their activities.

Initially, the bill had proposed a daily fee of Sh 500 for preachers in Jeevanjee Gardens and Kamukunji Grounds.

The intended revenue from these fees was part of the county government’s efforts to raise Sh 19.99 billion from its own resources, as outlined in the 2023/2024 Financial Budget plan.

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Preachers at Uhuru and Central Parks had also been requested to pay Sh 1,000 daily before being allowed to spread their message in the parks.

On a related note, the county government has also reduced the daily charges for artists intending to shoot both secular and gospel videos within the county to Sh 2,500.

The earlier proposed law had suggested an hourly fee of Sh 5,000 for shooting videos inside the refurbished Uhuru Park and Central Park.

The fee for holding a music concert per day in Uhuru and Central Parks has been lowered from the initial Sh 50,000 to Sh 40,000.

Furthermore, the parking fee within the Nairobi Central Business District will remain at Sh 200, avoiding the uproar from motorists who had voiced their concerns about the proposed daily fee of Sh 300. Motorists argued that they were already paying significant amounts for fuel and vehicle maintenance.

In a bill that gained unanimous approval from the County Assembly, Muslim worshipers will enjoy free parking during their Friday prayers. Additionally, parking within the CBD will be free on Sundays, as Governor Sakaja aims to attract more visitors to the town during the weekends.

Governor Sakaja expressed his administration’s commitment to taking public opinions seriously, vowing to address the concerns raised during the public participation process.

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