No standard dress code in Parliament

KIGALI - The Parliament currently operates with no official law on a standard dress code for legislators, The New Times has learnt. Previously, the Lower Chamber of Deputies had tried initiating a bill on the dress code but the attempt flopped as members disagreed on what exactly should be considered ‘formal dress code.’
HEADS COMMITTEE; Aimable Nibishaka (File photo)
HEADS COMMITTEE; Aimable Nibishaka (File photo)

KIGALI - The Parliament currently operates with no official law on a standard dress code for legislators, The New Times has learnt.

Previously, the Lower Chamber of Deputies had tried initiating a bill on the dress code but the attempt flopped as members disagreed on what exactly should be considered ‘formal dress code.’

The Senate has not attempted to come up with a standard dress code for its members, either.

Speaking to The New Times, the chairperson of the Senatorial Committee in charge of Ethics and Conduct, Antoine Mugesera, confirmed that the issue of dress code has never been tabled before the Senate.

When contacted, MP Aimable Nibishaka, who heads the committee charged with the conduct of Deputies could neither deny nor accept that there is no official dress code in Parliament.

“I tried tabling the issue and it aroused mixed feelings from members, but we have a provision of formal dressing while we are working although I need to first check with my office,” he said.

He had highlighted flaws and inappropriate dress codes by Members during sessions, hence calling for a need to establish a dress code as it is in most parliaments.

Without singling out names, Nibishaka had complained that some MP’s do not dress to the standards of their job which does not project a good image of the institution, in and outside parliament.

The majority of MPs advocated for men wearing suits and neck ties but there was no consensus on whether female MP’s should wear the traditional attire (Umushana) or decent, executive wear.

The idea has since been ignored and left hanging as some lawmakers still dress inappropriately.

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