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‘Go and dress properly’ Speaker Amason Kingi bars Senator Enoch Wambua from virtual proceedings

Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua was on January 19, 2023, denied the opportunity to make a virtual contribution to the Senate proceedings on the basis of his dress code.

At first, Speaker Amason Kingi had allowed the Senator to proceed but interrupted him since his camera was off.

Upon switching on the camera, the Clerk approached the Speaker and was seen whispering to him before the Speaker dismissed Senator Wambua.

“Put your camera on. We need to see where you are, and you know you need to be dressed appropriately,” Senator said.

“Mr Speaker I want to do that but the network would not sustain that,” Senator Wambua responded.

When the camera was switched on, the Senator appeared wearing a jersey with the Kenyan flag.

“Mr Speaker this is a Kenyan dress. This is the flag of the Republic of Kenya, Mr Speaker.”

However, the Speaker reiterated that the member cannot appear during the House proceeding while dressed inappropriately.

“Senator Wambua, the mere fact that there is a flag does not meet the dress code as required by the standard of the Senate. You maybe proceed to a Soccer pitch. So I’m afraid Senator Wambua you may not proceed to make your contribution because you are not dressed appropriately.”

According to Rule 8 of the Speaker’s Rules (Revised) 2017, proper dress implies a lawmaker has to be in a coat, collar, tie, long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, socks, and shoes or service uniform for men, and women are expected to appear in decent formal.

However, former Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka made a ruling in 2020 allowing the Senators to don traditional attires.

The ruling was made following a question from members regarding the Maasai regalia that Narok Senator Ledama Olekina had dressed when he appeared for a sitting.

“We all represent counties and we know that every county has its unique cultural dressing,” former Speaker Lusaka said.

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