WARD REPS TO STAY HOME

North Rift MCAs adjourn sittings indefinitely over coronavirus

Assemblies resumed from month-long recess, told to avoid sittings unless necessary

In Summary

• Uasin Gishu assembly resolved to go on with operations with few members allowed to attend, a decision that was later revoked. 

• MCAs in Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Turkana said they would also adjourn indefinitely and meet only when absolutely necessary. 

Uasin Gishu Assemby Majority leader Josphat Lowoi and Speaker David Kiplagat during a session at the assembly
PUT OFF: Uasin Gishu Assemby Majority leader Josphat Lowoi and Speaker David Kiplagat during a session at the assembly
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

 

 

County assemblies in the North Rift have adjourned their sittings indefinitely following the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Most of the assemblies resumed sittings on Tuesday after a month-long recess but the ward representatives resolved to break off as part of precautions to curb the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

The Uasin Gishu assembly had on Tuesday resolved to go on with operations, saying it would only allow a few members in the chambers on a rotational basis t observe social distancing.

That decision was later revoked and sittings adjourned.

While moving the motion for adjournment, Majority leader Josphat Lowoi said the assembly had no option but to adhere to government guidelines on the control of the spread of the virus by avoiding crowding and maintaining social distance.

He said the virus does not recognise the status of people in society, citing world leaders who had already been infected.

“Leaders have the duty to adhere to the government guidelines in this situation and also go home to help create awareness among our people," Lowoi said.

Speaker David Kiplagat said the members would still meet if needed to discuss urgent matters.

MCAs in Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Turkana said they would also adjourn indefinitely and meet only when absolutely necessary.

Earlier, the assemblies had been asked to extend their adjournment by two weeks as Covid-19 infections rise in the country. 

Kenya has so far confirmed 81 cases.

County Assemblies Forum secretary-general Kipkurui Chepkwony said the ban on meetings and the requirement on social distancing will affect their operations. 

“We all support the ongoing fight against the virus. The forum urges assemblies to postpone their sittings for at least another two weeks as we assess the situation and work closely with the government,” Chepkwony said in Eldoret on Tuesday. 

He said assembly staff should be encouraged to work from home but stay in touch if called upon. 

Moiben MP Sila Tiren wants Kenyans to stop ignoring government guidelines on the control of coronavirus.  

Tiren said Kenyans must learn from countries like Italy, Spain and the US that have been hard-hit by the pandemic.

The government should also step up awareness of the virus among citizens, the lawmaker said. 

Meanwhile, private security guards in Eldoret and other parts of the North Rift have been warned not to report on duty without uniforms during the curfew.

Peter Odima from the Kenya National Private Security Workers Union a spot check found many guards on night duty in regular clothes which Odima said puts them at risk of action by police enforcing the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

He also said some employers are not providing sanitiser or handwashing facilities for the security guards and urged them to do so.

 

Edited by R. Wamochie