Nairobi county assembly suspends sittings indefinitely over Covid

In Summary

•However, four are hospitalized and two are on oxygen support while the rest are recovering based on home-based care.

•The adjournment is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive last month when he asked Parliament as well as county assemblies within the five “disease-infected” counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Nakuru to go on recess until further notice.

Nairobi Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura.
Nairobi Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura.
Image: FILE

The Nairobi county assembly has adjourned sittings indefinitely over rising Covid-19 cases.

At least 50 MCAs are said to have contracted Covid-19, with 35  having recovered.

However, four are hospitalized and two are on oxygen support while the rest are recovering based on home-based care.

The adjournment is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive last month when he asked Parliament as well as county assemblies within the five “disease-infected” counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Nakuru to go on recess until further notice.

While moving the motion of adjournment, Majority leader Abdi Guyo said that despite the president’s directive, the House was greatly affected by the pandemic.

“Most of us are victims of this virus including myself who has just recovered. We have to put our health first if we want to continue serving our residents,” Guyo said.

The Majority leader said the committees will continue sitting virtually but no plenary session will take place within the chambers.

“If there is important business we can call for a special sitting but other than that, MCAs should keep off the assembly ,” Guyo added.

For the assembly staff, 80 per cent will also work from home with essential staff only allowed within the assembly precincts.

Supporting the motion, Minority leader Michael Ogada urged the House to observe health protocols given by the ministry.

“Nothing is as important as life and we have to take leave as an assembly to monitor this disease because it has greatly affected Nairobi. This virus is real and it is striking hard,” he said.

County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura  ordered that the clerk should facilitate virtual meetings for committees and all other business done virtually.

He said the assembly has been hit hard by the third wave of Covid-19 but was reluctant to reveal names and the numbers “as that will lead to stigmatisation” of the affected members.

“Covid-19 is here with us and we have been hit hard just like any other institution in the country. We are more cautious and we are lucky that nothing serious has happened,” Mutura said.