Senators in Kenya will now be allowed to attend proceedings in their cultural attire after the House Speaker Kenneth Lusaka made a landmark ruling on Tuesday.
Senators, both male and female, were previously only allowed into the chambers while dressed formally or in service uniforms, religious attires or any other attire approved from time to time.
The ruling came after Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina temporarily brought proceedings in the Senate to a halt when he entered the Chambers clad in the traditional Maasai attire.
The Speaker made the ruling after a Senator dressed in English attire questioned whether his Narok counterpart was properly dressed when he entered the chambers dressed in the famous Maasai shuka. The red beaded shuka is globally identified with the Maasai.
Speaker Ken Lusaka, while answering him, said the constitution allowed people to practice their culture.
He went on to explain, “We all know that we represent our counties and every county has its own cultural dressing. Narok and Kajiado have their cultural dressing which is recognised world over. So, it will be unfortunate for me to order him out of the house.”
“Maasai dress is one of the most well-known and recognised cultural heritages of Kenya and is globally synonymous with Kenya and it would be absurd if we as a people do not take pride in and celebrate it,”.
Senators in attendance hailed the ruling, noting that it will enable Kenyans to showcase their rich culture.