Kenya’s parliament Speaker Moses Wetang’ula has described the attire worn by MPs as inappropriate, banning traditional African dress and safari-style suits favoured by President William Ruto.
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 the so-called Kaunda suit made popular by late Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda, a safari-style outfit sometimes with a collarless jacket, was prohibited, along with “traditional and cultural attire”. Ruto often wears sharply tailored formal suits but the Kaunda outfit is now frequently his garment of choice — and he wore them during the visit by King Charles III that wrapped up earlier this month.
According to the Speaker’s Rules, “a proper dress for men means a coat, collar, tie, long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, socks and shoes or service uniform”.
He further stated that for women, skirts and dresses must be below the knee and sleeveless tops are banned. Wetang’ula said he had been approached by several lawmakers who complained about the standard of dress of some of their colleagues.”I have seen on TV members in committee meetings looking like street fighters. Standards of decency are a must in the august house,” he was quoted as saying by the local media.