Suna East member of parliament and National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 left the parliament in stitches with a joke about the elderly MPs.
During the afternoon session, Junet singled out legislators above the age of 58 and jokingly requested that they should be allowed to leave as they were most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.
“Mr Speaker I have an issue that I want to raise. The guidelines that you issued were very clear. One of the guidelines was anybody above 58 years should not appear in the chambers, and I’m seeing Honourable Amos Kimunya, I am seeing Honourable Robert Pukose, these are octogenarians who should be at home Mr Speaker, we don’t want to lose any member of parliament,” he stated in jest, leading to an outburst of laughter in the House.
— Miss Odhiambo. (@MallissaMercy) April 14, 2020
This was in reference to reports that the elderly are said to be at most risk of contracting the virus due to their compromised immune system.
“Mr Speaker, another is the MP from Meru, Honourable Kubai, he retired from civil service before we were born and he’s here. I am raising this out of good faith because I want us to be hereafter coronavirus. When you are told you are above 58 or 60, stay home with your grandchildren,” he added.
In his defense, Meru MP stated that the guidelines indicated ‘may’ and not ‘must’.
This was a COVID-19 special sitting, where tougher guidelines were introduced to safeguard legislators from contracting the virus as it continued to spread.
MPs and parliament employees above the age of 58 or with underlying health conditions have been advised to work from home.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 25, 2020, had asked MPs and government officials aged 50 years and above or had pre-existing health conditions to take leave or work from home as they were most vulnerable.