Kenya: Wetangula Bans Wearing of Kaunda Suits in Parliament

President William Ruto.
29 November 2023

Nairobi — National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has banned the wearing of Kaunda suits by Members of the Parliament in the House.

Wetangula, while addressing the National Assembly on Tuesday, referred to Rule 9 of the Speaker's Rules which outlines the dress code of MPs, declared that the suits also referred to as Mao Zedong coats, were improper attire in accordance with House norms.

He said legislators would no longer be permitted to enter the chamber, lounge, dining room, or commute rooms without appropriate clothing.

"My predecessors have had no issue with Kaunda suit. Going forward, any attire outside what is prescribed in rule 9 of the Speaker's Rules is prohibited. This includes Kaunda suits, whether long or short-sleeved," he said.

"All members must observe rule 9 not only in the chamber but also in the committees, lounges and in the dining areas."

He said that the rules needed to be obeyed to maintain order in the House because new fashion trends were gradually replacing Parliament's customary dress code.

"I do this to guard against negating the set standards, especially given the current preference for members to dress easily. This practice out rightly does not accord with the seriousness of the proceedings of the House and its committees," he said.

Wetangula at the same time banned the wearing of hats, caps and traditional attire to parliament.

"Hats and caps for men are not permitted in the chamber and committees. Traditional and cultural attires are not permitted in the chamber, lounges and dining areas," he stated.

Parliamentary dress codes states that Men should dress appropriately in a coat, collar, tie, long sleeve shirt, long trousers, socks, shoes, or service uniform, while women should dress in business, formal, or smart casual attire.

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