Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja has declared that Muslim worshippers attending Friday afternoon prayers will no longer be required to pay parking fees near mosques. The decision, aimed at minimizing disruptions during this sacred time, was announced at an Iftar gathering on Wednesday evening, attended by both Muslims and county leaders.
Governor Sakaja has directed the District Inspectorate team to refrain from stopping vehicles around mosques between the hours of 12 pm and 2:30 pm on Fridays. He is also pushing for an amendment to the Finance Act through the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs), which would legalize the implementation of this exemption.
The governor emphasized the importance of respecting the Muslim community, stating, “Let us allow our Muslim brothers and sisters to go to the mosques without any harassment… no clapping at this time.” To ensure that only eligible individuals benefit from this policy, the governor will work closely with mosque leaders to prevent non-Muslims from taking advantage of the exemption.
In response to requests from the Jamia Mosque leadership, Governor Sakaja has also agreed to designate Banda Street, where the mosque is situated, as a one-way street. He remarked, “I think it makes sense to make it one-way and treat it as a historical site. Jamia is one of the most historic mosques we have in East Africa, not just in Kenya.” Additionally, the governor has approved the ban on street hawking near the mosque, to maintain the sanctity of the area.
Furthermore, Governor Sakaja has pledged to ensure respect for places of worship by allowing shops on one of the streets near the mosque. He also instructed the district health team to release unclaimed bodies identified as belonging to Muslims, addressing concerns regarding the handling of such cases.