Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina on Tuesday caused a stir in the Senate after he attended a sitting wearing Maasai attire.
The outfit captured the attention of his colleagues who asked for Speaker Kenneth Lusaka’s direction on whether Ledama was appropriately dressed.
“Mr. Speaker, Senator Ledama is wearing what looks like Maasai regalia. Is he in order because we can also come with all kinds of attire,” Wajir Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim stated.
But Speaker Lusaka ruled that members are allowed to wear traditional regalia in the chamber, noting that each of the 47 counties represented in the senate has its own culture and traditional attire that needs to be preserved.
“We all know that we represent counties and certain counties have their own cultural dresses. Given, for example, Narok and Kajiado their cultural dress has been recognized the world over as a Kenyan culture,” Lusaka said.
“So, it would be very unfortunate for me and unconstitutional to order Senator Ledama to get out because of what he is wearing. Therefore, having read the two, as the Speaker, I rule that he is decently dressed and he should remain in this House,” he added.
The ruling paves the way for MPs to attend plenary sessions and committee sittings in their traditional attire.
“This Constitution recognizes culture as the foundation of the nation and as the cumulative civilization of the Kenyan people and nation,” Speaker Lusaka added.
Lusaka invoked his powers as stipulated in the Speakers Rule No.5 and Article 11 of the Constitution.
Some of the attire recognized as official dress for male members under the Speaker’s rules include suit, collar shirts, tie, long trousers, socks and shoes, service uniform, and religious attire. The Speaker is allowed to approve other decent dressing from time to time.