MITIGATION

MPs suspend morning sittings over Covid

House altered its calender for the Fifth Session in light of the continued limitations of in-persons meetings

In Summary
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays, House will have afternoon sittings from 2.30 pm to 6.30 pm and evening sittings from 7pm to 9pm. Thursdays afternoon sittings will be from 2.30 pm to 7.pm
  • The country is advised to urgently boost critical care capacity as cases may surge.
Parliament building.
SITTINGS SUSPENDED: Parliament building.
Image: FILE.

Members of Parliament have suspended their morning sittings in anticipation of a fourth Covid-19 wave.

The National Assembly on Tuesday altered its calendar for the Fifth Session in light of the continued limitations of in-person meetings during the pandemic.

The procedural motion by the Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya came as the World Health Organization warned the country that Covid-19 infections could rise rapidly next month in a fourth wave.

The country was advised to urgently boost critical care capacity as cases may surge.

The National Assembly suspended its morning sittings during the second part of the Session from June 8 to July 8. Nonetheless, the sittings of the House on 8, 9 and 10 June will remain as before.

The House will have afternoon sittings on Tuesdays from 2.30pm to 6.30pm and evening sittings from 7pm to 9pm.

On Wednesdays, there will be afternoon sittings from 2.30pm to 6.30pm and evening sittings from 7pm to 9.30pm.

Thursdays afternoon sittings will be from 2.30pm to 7pm.

“From June 15 to July 8, House sittings on Wednesday mornings shall stand suspended,” the motion stated.

It further noted that on Thursday afternoons, business not sponsored by the majority party, the minority party or a committee shall have precedence over all other business, in such order as the House Business Committee shall determine.

Parliament can extend its sittings but only through the approval of members.

There have been instances where sittings have been extended late into the night to allow members to finish important motions which may have timelines.

The National Assembly has on occasion been forced to prolong sittings following clashes between the two sides of the political divide which result in the suspension of business.

In February, the National Assembly adjusted its calendar to introduce evening sittings for the first time in history.

In the revised calendar, Wednesday sittings were suspended with effect from February 17. Members normally have two sittings on Wednesdays.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)