CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH

No entry without Covid certificate, speaker tells MCAs

Beginning Friday, ward reps and staff must have a Covid-19 negative certificate to enter assembly precincts

In Summary

• Public barred from entry. Most staff sent home. 

• Speaker banned all physical meetings, including committee sessions. Essential meetings to be held virtually. Dress code, manners essential online. 

 

Nairobi Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura.
EVERYONE OUT: Nairobi Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura.
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

A Covid-19 negative certificate will be required for all Nairobi MCAs and staff to enter the assembly precinct.

The County Assembly Service Board and Nairobi Metropolitan Services have organised free testing for MCAs and staff.

The public has been barred.

 

Key plenary and committee meetings will be virtual - dress code, good manners and quiet must be maintained. 

Speaker Benson Mutura on Tuesday outlined more tough measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“Beginning Friday, a negative Covid-19 certificate shall be a prerequisite for accessing the assembly area for both members and staff,” he directed.

Last week, Health committee chairman Peter Warutere said MCAs and staff who had tested positive for Covid-19 were still entering the assembly.

He did not identify them, protecting their right to privacy.

Majority leader Abdi Guyo and his minority counterpart Michael Ogada said assembly leaders would deliberate on the way forward.

Mutura told the assembly on Tuesday strict measure were decided on by the assembly leadership.

 

He said the second wave of the pandemic had proven to be lethal and tough measures were inconvenient but necessary.

The assembly and staff have not been spared, he said, "calling for us to take measures to preserve our health," Mutura said.

Witnesses and visitors appearing before committees must appear virtually unless it's necessary they appear in person.

Only assembly leadership will be allowed to access the chamber.

MCAs will be required to follow the proceedings virtually.

The leadership consists of the speaker, deputy speaker, majority and minority leaders and their deputies.

He said that all MCAs must observe decorum as outlined in the Standing Orders. Any member who breaches the orders will be disconnected from virtual sittings.

MCAs will be required to observe the dress code and participate in a quiet environment. Microphones are to be muted unless they are participating.

“Press 'raise hand' button when you want to speak; speak up when given opportunity. Stay seated, be present," Mutura said.

The assembly clerk has been directed to reduce the number of staff in the precincts to essential employees. Other staff should work at home.

Mutura advised all MCAs and staff to take responsibility for their health and that of their loved ones and colleagues.

“Remember, you may be negative today but tomorrow, you may test positive," the speaker said.

(Edited by V. Graham)