CALL FOR LEGISLATION

Lockdown will lead to chaos, warns MP Osotsi

Nominated lawmaker says Parliament should be recalled to debate a bill to cushion wananchi from effects of Covid-19

In Summary

• ANC lawmaker wants Parliament fumigated and members screened and possibly tested for house to resume duties

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi during a church service in Kibra constituency in 2019
COMBATING COVID-19 Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi during a church service in Kibra constituency in 2019
Image: COURTESY

 

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi has warned against putting the country into lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis, saying such a move will lead to chaos.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced a 7pm to 5am curfew beginning Friday and warned of a possible lockdown if citizens fail to obey directives issued by the Heal Ministry to combat the global pandemic.

 

But Osotsi on Wednesday said ordering a lockdown would have far-reaching consequences on wananchi and would require legislation.

"Lockdown is more of a state of emergency that requires Parliament to approve it," Ososti said.

The ANC lawmaker said it would be ill-advised to put the country in lockdown because that "will open the gates for chaos countrywide."

Osotsi urged speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Ken Lusaka (Senate) to recall the houses in order to deliberate on some key issues that may salvage the situation as the country fights the coronavirus outbreak.

The lawmaker spoke to Star on the phone. He said Parliament has a crucial role to play on key issues affecting wananchi like the Covid-19. 

"Before you ask the President to order a lockdown, how well is the country prepared for that? Do we have laws in place to manage that lockdown period?” Osotsi said.

He was reacting to calls by some leaders that the country be put in lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

 

Osotsi said Parliament ought to be fumigated and lawmakers thoroughly screened and possibly tested before being allowed access. He suggested that the Senate and National Assembly be allowed to run their activities in shifts.

"We have seen departments within the Executive running their activities in shifts and have done marvellous work. Parliament can do the same."

He said Parliament needs to come up with a lockdown bill to deliberate on physical planning, monitoring issues, health management, national security and administrative issues before a total shutdown is ordered.

"How are we going to effect a lockdown if we don’t have that bill in place. We as the lawmakers must come up with a stimulus package to our business community to cushion them from this crisis," he said.

 

edited by peter obuya