Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has assured content creators in the city that they will not face harassment from the inspectorate while pursuing their filming activities.
Sakaja addresses harassment of content creators in Nairobi CBD
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja steps in with assurance after the arrest of three content creators in the CBD
This statement comes in the wake of the recent arrest of three content creators over the weekend for engaging in unauthorized photography.
According to activist Boniface Mwangi's Twitter post on Sunday, the arrested individuals, namely Duncan Mukinde, Karanja Wangui, and Phaustine Okello, were taken into custody at the Central Police Station on charges of incitement, in addition to the initial charge of unauthorized photography.
"Governor Johnson Sakaja said: Freelance photographers and filmmakers operating within Nairobi County are now exempted from paying for their business permits.
"National Police Service said: We shall still arrest them...The above three creatives were arrested in the CBD for “unauthorized photography” and when they informed the police Sakaja said it's allowed, the police added another charge, “incitement,” Mwangi's tweet read.
In response to these arrests, Sakaja has expressed his commitment to working with the police to ensure a mutual understanding and respect for the rights of content creators.
Sakaja reaffirmed his support for freelance photographers and filmmakers, emphasizing that they should be able to carry out their work without facing undue harassment.
He further highlighted that business permits would not be required for photographers and filmmakers operating in Nairobi, a decision that was announced in September of the previous year.
"I’ve asked for their release. Photographers and filmmakers are allowed to film with ease and not harassed. County officers get it. We’re working with the Police to be similarly aligned on it," Sakaja responded on Mwangi's tweet.
The governor's aim in making this decision was to provide opportunities for individuals in the creative economy to earn a living without unnecessary interference from authorities.
A few hours later, one of the content creators, Karanja Wangui posted un update that they had been released without any constraints. He thanked Boniface Mwangi for voicing the issue.
"Thank you Boniface Mwangi for this. W have been released without a penny...Young people must practice their talents without fear or intimidation. Asanteni sana wadau," he wrote on Twitter.
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino also voiced his support for the content creators, emphasizing the importance of allowing them to engage in their chosen profession and urging the police to refrain from unlawful arrests.
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