Freelance photographers and filmmakers who operate in Nairobi County are now exempted from paying for business permits in the normal operation of their businesses.

This is after Governor Johnson Sakaja directed the amendment of laws to promote the film and creative industry in Nairobi. He had ordered the laws that inhibit photography, videography, film and the creative industry in the city to be reviewed.

Nairobi County Executive Committee Member for Finance and Economic Planning, Lawrence Wambua, in a memo to his Trade and Industrialisation counterpart directed that the photographers and filmmakers be granted a waiver.

“In exercise of the power given under the PFM Act 2012, Section 159 and the Nairobi City Council Tax Waivers Administration Act, 2013 Section 5 (2)(C), approval is hereby given that Freelance photographers and Freelance filmmakers are given waiver/exemption from payment of Single Business Permit as charged under the Nairobi City County Trade Licensing Act, 2019,” read the memo dated September 23.

Photographers and videographers have complained for years that they are being constantly harassed by the police and officers representing Nairobi County. When Sakaja was campaigning for the position of Governor, he promised that he would address the harassment of photographers and videographers in Nairobi.

Sakaja had promised last week to address the harassment and to remove bottlenecks for creatives operating in the city.

“When we say we want to be pro-business it is not just passive to stop harassment of traders but we want to be proactive to facilitate and promote. There are many archaic laws including those that hamper creativity and innovation and we are going to weed those out,” he said.