The Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, has written to the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, asking him to rethink the abrupt closure of parliament premises
His protest comes days after Parliament announced that the building will be closed for two weeks starting today Monday June 28, to allow for fumigation in the containment of the coronavirus. This came after a number of MPs reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.
In a letter dated June 24, Mpuuga wrote: “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 in the situation like it is now.”
Mpuuga noted that even where some members and staff have tested positive of Covid-19, the business of Parliament can be conducted in another place or through digital platforms as provided by the Rules of Procedure.
“Besides, compliance to the rules shall not deter members and staff from continuing to observe the standard operating procedures while individually seeking to routinely test and also undergo tests for those found positive,” he wrote.
Mpuuga also notified the speaker that the office of the Opposition Chief Whip is ready to designate members to the various sectorial and standing committees as per Rules of Procedures.
The news about the rising infections among MPs comes at a time when the country is battling the second wave of a pandemic that has cumulatively killed more than 700 people.
The rising number of deaths compelled the president to declare a total lockdown, six months after authorities had promised a gradual phased re-opening of the economy.