Senate Speaker Amason Kingi relaxed the rule for senators wearing formal suits and ties during the Senate Mashinani sittings in Lodwar town, Turkana County.
Kingi told the senators during plenary sitting in Turkana County assembly chamber on Tuesday that due to high temperatures in the region which is in the furthest northern part of the country, members will not be required to wear their formal clothes like in Parliament Buildings in Nairobi.
The Speaker told the senators that as long as they are dressed in formal trousers and long-sleeved shirts they will be deemed properly dressed for the sitting.
“Bearing in mind the high temperatures in Turkana county at the moment, senators are excused from wearing formal suits and can only put on a trouser with a long-sleeved shirt without a tie and they will be okay to attend plenary sittings for the time that we will be conducting House business here,” said Kingi.
He said that one of the fundamental rights of a worker or employee is to have a comfortable working place so that they can effectively deliver their services terming it as the reason why senators and staff were allowed to dress differently than they normally do in Nairobi.
Senators and parliamentary staff are required to wear a suit, long-sleeved shirt, tie, socks and closed shoes for the males while the females are required to be decently dressed to be allowed to access the precincts of parliament with those who fail to do so being asked to leave the chamber.
The senators are also allowed to wear kaunda suits and African attire and Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina has on several occasions appeared in the House wearing the Maasai traditional regalia a departure from the past when it was not acceptable.
“The Speaker of the Senate is aware that we have high temperatures in Turkana compared to Nairobi that is why I have considered that we need to have members and staff comfortable to conduct their business that is why we are relaxing rules for the dress code while we are here,” said Kingi.
The Senate standing orders allows the Speaker to define what constitutes decent dress code for members accessing the debating chamber.
The Senate Mashinani sittings are being held at the Turkana county assembly chambers. Similar sessions have previously been held in Uasin Gishu and Turkana counties in 2018 and 2019 respectively with the exercise suspended in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.