November 29, 2023

Kenya: Parliament Updates Dress Code

Kenya’s Parliament has banned its members (MPs) from wearing attire that doesn’t fit the “seriousness” of the institution, including a particular type of suit that has become a fashion trend thanks to President William Ruto.

On Tuesday, 28 November, Moses Wetangula, Speaker of the House, announced that Kaunda suits – named after late Zambian founding president, Kenneth Kaunda – along with hats, caps and traditional African garbs, are no longer part of the MP dress code.

“A proper dress code for men means a coat, a collar, a tie, long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, socks, shoes or service uniform,” he said, before providing the dress code for women: “For ladies, business, formal or smart casual wear applies. Skirts and dresses should be below knee-length and decent. Sleeveless blouses are prohibited.”

The move was made as a way to deal with “emerging fashion trends that now threaten the establishment of the parliamentary dress code.”

President Ruto first wore a Kaunda suit in June, sparking off a renewed interest in the outfit, which has been worn by sub-Saharan African political leaders in the past.

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