Nairobi County Assembly sittings go virtual
Nairobi County Assembly plenary sittings are set to go virtual starting tomorrow (Thursday), Speaker Beatrice Elachi has said.
The new development comes as the assembly moves with speed to implement guidelines issued by the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua regarding containment measures against the spread of Covid-19.
Elachi said, as a result, only the House leadership and the mover of a business on the floor shall be allowed in the chamber while all other MCAs shall follow and participate in Assembly proceedings via zoom.
The Speaker together with the leaders of majority and minority, their deputies; majority and minority whips together with their deputies form the House leadership.
“Beginning this Thursday July 23, 2020 we shall be holding virtual sittings. Visitors will not be allowed in Assembly precincts including in Committees unless in exceptional circumstances. Members are also encouraged to stay away from the precincts,” Elachi said.
The Office of the Clerk has been directed to facilitate the virtual sittings.
Other measures that have been put in place by the assembly amidst soaring numbers of Covid-19 in the country and especially in Nairobi is an end to sharing of physical documents and scaling down of staff who will be turning out for work at the assembly.
“Members of the public are encouraged to send electronic mails. The Clerk shall be sharing documents with Members and staff electronically. There will be a scale down of staff turning up for work,” Elachi said.
The Speaker further said that the assembly’s service board shall make available adequate personal protective equipment (PPEs) and sanitisers.
“Hon Members these measures are aimed at protecting you and your loved ones from this dangerous virus,” said Elachi.
The county assembly has been moving towards the new development ever since resuming its normal operations on June 2, 2020 after a three-month recess.
At the time, Elachi had hinted that plans were underway to implement virtual sittings to minimize interactions at the assembly.
In the meantime, the assembly scaled down on MCAs allowed in the chamber with a maximum of 42 members instead of 122 allowed at any given time in order to ensure there is social distancing.
The MCAs were also attending the plenary sittings alternatively with only the House leadership allowed in every sitting.
Plenary sessions were also reduced from three to two on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Wednesdays dedicated to the fumigation of the chamber and assembly precincts.
The committee meetings also went virtual, save for the crucial ones like public accounts.
“The assembly shall borrow from what the National Assembly has been doing. We shall be having two sessions in the morning and afternoon from 10am and 2:30pm on both days. Members will log in online and register early so that the Speaker can check the numbers from Jubilee and Nasa for the House to be in order before sessions start,” Elachi said at the time.