UNTIL APRIL 14

Parliament adjourns for 19 days over coronavirus outbreak

National Assembly will adjourn from today to April 14 over the Covid-19 outbreak

In Summary
  • Majority Leader Aden Duale moves adjournment motion as one way to prevent spread of the virus
  • Calls for creation of a fund to help cushion small scale businesses from the effects of the lockdown
Members of parliament and senate at the parliament gallery during the opening of the 11th parliament.
Members of parliament and senate at the parliament gallery during the opening of the 11th parliament.
Image: FILE

Parliament adjourned sittings on the day the country confirmed its fourth case of coronavirus.

The National Assembly will adjourn from Tuesday to April 14 over the Covid-19 outbreak which has crippled most government and private operations.

Judiciary was the first to announce a scaling down of its operations, including banning open courts.

 
 

Other government departments have followed suit, with staff told to work from home to minimise the possibility of passing the virus from one person to another.

On Tuesday, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale moved the adjournment motion as a way to prevent the spread of the virus.

The decision made by House Business Committee was part of Parliament’s precautionary measures aimed at containing the spread of the disease, Duale said.

“Deeply concerned that this pandemic, which is said to have no cure, has spread to many countries with the potential of affecting a large percentage of the world’s population is still unfolding, this House resolves that notwithstanding the approved calendar of the House for the Fourth Session, the House adjourns from Wednesday, March 18, 2020, until Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 2.30pm.”

He called for the creation of a fund to help cushion small-scale businesses from the effects of the lockdown.

“A lot of businesses will be affected. It is incumbent upon this House to create a fund to cushion our businessmen,” Duale said.

Minority Leader John Mbadi called for emphasis on the economic impact of the virus, saying many businesses will be negatively affected.

 
 

Parliament’s move came on the day Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced a new confirmed case taking the country’s tally to four.

Duale, in his communication to the House, noted the Parliamentary Service Commission, chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi, will take appropriate measures to enable the House sit upon re-convening, taking cognizance of the public health emergency.

The Speaker will also be free to refer any appointment made by the President for processing during the recess without having to recall the committee.

Edited by Henry Makori