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Why this MCA wants alcoblow tests in Assembly


There was uproar in Embu County Assembly when one of the members suggested that alcoblow tests be introduced in the House to gauge the sobriety of her colleagues before any sitting.

Nominated MCA Margaret Lorna Kariuki found her self in trouble when she insisted that the gadgets were important as they would instil discipline in the House.

Ms Kariuki drew the wrath of her counterparts when she insinuated that some of them attended sittings while intoxicated and that alcoblow tests were needed outside the chambers. This, she said, is to establish the amount of liquor in their bloodstreams before they proceed to debate in the House.

Temporary Speaker Phillip Nzangi inquired from Kariuki whether she actually believed that some MCAs would be dishonourable to the level of attending Assembly sittings while drunk. He termed the allegations as serious and bearing far-reaching consequences if proven, but also warned that claims meant to tarnish the names of the MCAS should be avoided.

Ms Kariuki, who was incensed by the decision of Ruguru Ngandori MCA Muturi Mwombo to brand her as a sycophant, lashed out at her colleague as having no straight line of thought and ‘vomiting’ a concoction of stuff, which nobody could understand.

Representatives were intoxicated

She added that she felt insulted by Mr Mwombo, therefore prompting her to believe that some ward representatives were intoxicated while in the House.

Ms Kariuki, however, turned down calls by Mr Nzangi to substantiate her assertions and maintained that she would not name the individuals she thought to be habitual drunkards that attended plenary sittings while tipsy.

The comments drew the attention of several other MCAs who sought the indulgence of the Speaker to ventilate on the matter.

Evurore MCA Duncan Mbui warned that the accusation of MCA being drunk was recorded in the Hansard and was likely to paint all ward representatives in the House as irresponsible leaders.

Mr Mbui demanded that Ms Kariuki be ruled out of order and forced to withdraw the remarks and apologise to her colleagues for painting them in bad light.

The Speaker conceded that the Assembly sittings were public and also open to members of the press. He, therefore, cautioned that demanding for breathalyzer machines to indicate that some MCAs attended sittings while drunk was likely to be blown out of proportion on social media and mainstream news outlets by the attendees of the sitting. He demanded a retraction of the statement.

MCA Kariuki nonetheless asserted that it was not illegal to propose the installation of alcoblow gadgets at the Assembly debating chambers, adding that she was protected by parliamentary privileges and immunity. She later succumbed to pressure by her counterparts and withdrew the remarks on condition that she is not referred to as a sycophant in future.