CORONAVIRUS

Muturi should stick to virtual meetings

In Summary

• Speaker Justin Muturi has ordered that all National Assembly committee meetings be held virtually online

• PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi says committee members need to meet physically to examine documents and witnesses

Members of the joint meeting of National Assembly and Senate committee during their first sitting in Parliament in July, 2016 to consider and resolve the ongoing IEBC impasse.
Members of the joint meeting of National Assembly and Senate committee during their first sitting in Parliament in July, 2016 to consider and resolve the ongoing IEBC impasse.
Image: FILE

MPs want the Speaker Justin Muturi to relax lockdown in the National Assembly (see P8).

PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi wants Muturi to drop his directive requiring all committees meetings to be virtual because business is piling up in his committee. He also says that the committee needs to examine voluminous documents and to assess body language of witnesses, which are difficult online.

Yet 36 parliamentary staff have tested positive for Covid as well as several MPs.

 

Politicians have also been very bad at social distancing and wearing masks. Their sense of impunity makes them feel above the rules and some immune to the virus. But they are not, they will catch it if they are exposed to it.

It is not difficult to conduct committee sessions online. The High Court is already successfully handling cases online with documents being submitted electronically but also in hard copy if required.

If the High Court can do it, surely parliamentary committees can do it. Cynics might say that the MPs only want to get extra sitting allowances but, whatever the case, Muturi should not back down and should continue to insist on virtual committee meetings.

Quote of the day: "Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."

Henry Ford
The founder of the Ford Motor Company was born on July 30, 1863