Duale Threatens to Walk Out of National Assembly Over Covid-19 Fears

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale addresses the media on June 13, 2019.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, threatened to walk out of a session in the National Assembly chambers over Covid-19 fears.

Duale raised the concerns after legislators from three counties under partial lockdown; Kwale, Kilifi and Mombasa attended the first sitting after Parliament resumed to discuss goverment’s Covid-19 measures.

“Are they from Mombasa this mornng? And if they are from Mombasa this morning, Mr speaker I will be the first to walk out and go home,” Duale pronounced.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale addresses the media on June 13, 2019.

Citizen Digital

The Garissa Toonship legislator stated that President Uhuru Kenyatta had banned travel into and out of the counties as a measure to tame the spread of Covid-19, which Duale stated was not subjective to social class.

“This is a serrious matter. The president created a lockdown for four counties; Nairobi, Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi, not withstanding the caliber and the status of the person,” Duale stated.

“We cannot lock the people of Mombasa from coming to Nairobi and allow Members of Parliament to come from Mombasa, Kwale, or Kilifi, unless they can confirm that during the lockdown, since then they were in Nairobi,” he added.

Duale demanded that the lawmakers have resect for the law and explain their whereabouts, quoting a decison by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend a cabinet minister for violating a directive of the state.

“If they have just left the counties, this is a house that makes laws. We are not different from the rest of the kenyans that live in the counties.  We cant allow Members of Parliament to violate that.

“For those of us who want to follow the law and who want to make sure there is safety and there is health, I am not saying my fellow colleagues have an issue, but it should look tidy and neat,” Duale stated.

Parliament had convened to deliberate on pending house preoceedings including lans to cushion members of the public from the socio-economic effects of the pandemic.

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, reports had emerged indicating that several members of the National Assembly and the Senate had contraccted Covid-19, after which parliamentarians came out to refute the allegations. 

So far only one Member of Parliament has been confirmed to have contracted the virus, after getting into contact with Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi during the burial of Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori.