Wetangula Bans Kaunda Suits, Traditional Wear in Parliament

November 29, 2023

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has prohibited Members of Parliament (MPs) from donning Kaunda suits within the parliamentary setting.

In an address to the National Assembly on Tuesday, Speaker Wetang’ula stated that the suits, also referred to as Mao Zedong coats, were deemed inappropriate attire in accordance with the rules of the House.

He cited Rule 9 of the Speaker’s Rules, which outlines the dress code for MPs, asserting that henceforth, lawmakers would not be permitted to access certain sections of the premises, including the chamber, lounge, dining room, or commute rooms, without appropriate attire.

“My predecessors have had no issue with Kaunda suits…Going forward, any attire outside what is prescribed in rule 9 of the Speaker’s Rules is prohibited. This includes Kaunda suits, whether long or short-sleeved,” he said.

“All members must observe rule 9 not only in the chamber but also in the committees, lounges and in the dining areas.”

Wetangula additionally prohibited the wearing of hats, caps, and traditional and cultural attire. He observed that the evolving trends in fashion were gradually replacing the traditional dress code of Parliament.

“Arising from emerging fashion trends that now threaten the establishment of Parliamentary dress codes, it has become necessary for me to depart from what has been obtained regarding the admittance of Kaunda suits as appropriate dress,” he said.

“I do this to guard against negating the set standards, especially given the current preference for members to dress easily. This practice out rightly does not accord with the seriousness of the proceedings of the House and its committees.”

According to the Parliament rules on dressing, acceptable attire for men includes a coat, collar, tie, long-sleeve shirt, long trousers, socks, shoes, or service uniform. For women, the dress code entails business, formal, or smart casual wear.

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