Kenya’s parliament has taken an unexpected fashion turn, deciding to ban the iconic Kaunda suit, a style synonymous with the late Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda. The Speaker of Parliament, Moses Wetangula, dropped the bombshell, stating that both Kaunda suits and traditional African attire would no longer be acceptable within the parliamentary premises.
This surprising move comes despite the widespread popularity of the Kaunda suit, notably worn by Kenyan President William Ruto during official events. The outfit, featuring a safari jacket and matching trousers, gained its name from the Zambian president, who played a crucial role in turning it into a fashion statement.
Speaker Wetangula attributed the ban to emerging fashion trends that apparently challenge the established parliamentary dress code. The new regulations prescribe a specific dress code for men, including a coat, collar, tie, long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, socks, shoes, or service uniform. For women, the guidelines specify business, formal, or smart casual wear, with skirts and dresses below knee-length and sleeveless blouses prohibited.
While acknowledging past tolerance of the Kaunda suit in parliament, Wetangula emphasized the need to halt this practice to preserve the parliamentary dress code. The recent attention on social media, fueled by President Ruto’s frequent appearances in the Kaunda suit during official functions, may have influenced this unexpected decision.
The ban has sparked mixed reactions on social media, with some questioning the prohibition of an African attire in an African parliament, while others express support for the change in fashion direction. The Kaunda suit, once a symbol of political elegance, finds itself ousted from the corridors of power in Kenya.