Kenya Senate Allows Traditional Attire in Parliament

Senators in Kenya will now be allowed to attend proceedings donning cultural attire after the House Speaker Kenneth Lusaka made a landmark ruling on Tuesday.

The Speaker made the ruling after Wajir Senator Abdulahi Ali questioned whether his Narok counterpart Ledama ole Kina was properly dressed when he appeared in Parliament dressed in the famous Maasai shuka (wrapper).

Dr Ali argued that Ole Kina’s action could open the door to all manner of dressing in Parliament.

In his ruling, Mr Lusaka cited the constitutional provisions on culture and the Speaker’s rule book that detail the way and manner in which members should dress before they are allowed in the chamber.

The rule book declares that a member must be dressed in a formal suit, a shirt and tie, socks and shoes. It also approves entry into the chamber of service uniforms, religious attire and any other decent attire that must be approved from time.

The Constitution recognises culture as the foundation of the nation and as the cumulative civilisation of the Kenyan people and nation.

“We all represent counties and we know that every county has its own unique cultural dressing,” Mr Lusaka ruled, noting that cultural dressing of Narok and Kajiado counties are recognised worldwide.

“Based on that it would be unfair and unconstitutional for me to order that Mr Ole Kina out of the chamber on the account that he is not properly dressed.”

“I rule he is properly dressed and he must remain in the chamber,” to a thunderous applause from the House.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot welcomed the ruling saying it will enrich Kenyan culture.

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