The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga has petitioned the Office of Speaker, seeking clarity on the abrupt closure of Parliament and the way forward.
Parliament though its Head of communications Chris Obore announced this week, the Parliament building will be closed for two weeks starting tomorrow Monday June 28, to allow fumigation in containment of coronavirus.
This came after close to 200 MPs reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.
Mpuuga in the letter dated June 24, acknowledged the Speaker’s care for the members not to be affected by the virus, but asked for more clarity since Parliament work is needed by the public now than never before
“The concern of my office with this communication is that it fell short of guiding members on how and where to conduct the business of Parliament during the closure of the premises. The mandate and duty of Parliament to the population has now been required to intervene on the situation like it is now,” reads part of the letter.
“Even where some members and staff have tested positive of Covid-19, the business of Parliament can be conducted in another place or digital platforms as provided by our Rules of Procedure,” the letter adds.
Mpuuga informed the Speaker that the MPs shall continue observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) while individually seeking to routine tests and also undergo treatment to those found positive of Covid-19.
“These are dire times, the whole country is undergoing stress and will require the calming and leveraging power of the House of Parliament to prevail on the Executive to execute its mandate within the set timelines,” he said.
He further asked the Office of the Speaker to offer further guidance to members on how they can execute their Constitutional mandate in the prevailing National crisis other than the blanket closure of their Parliamentary building.
Mpuuga said that the office of the Opposition Chief Whip is ready to allocate different members on the sectorial and standing committees as per Rules of Procedures.
“Once members are designated, the house may choose to assign some of the emergency duties to specific committees of the House to realize the requirement to maintaining the SOPs,” he noted.