Kenyan MP ejected from flight over booze incident

Parliament is investigating an incident where an MP destined for an official visit abroad was kicked out of an international flight that was about to take off, over alleged misconduct.

Reports indicate that Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel had boarded a plane for Vienna, Austria, via the Middle East, last Monday together with other colleagues from the Parliamentary Committee on Implementation, but his trip was cut short after a mishap between him and the airline crew member.

Other members of the committee, who later proceeded with the trip, are said to have filed a complaint with the Speaker of the National Assembly about the behaviour of their colleague.

According to the airline officials who sought anonymity, Lempurkel, who was in Business Class, had demanded to be served with a Kenyan brand beer, but a hostess is understood to have told him the airline was serving only wines. Passengers in that compartment are served drinks even before take-off.

Sources said the MP caused a scene on the plane, complaining he had been handled rudely by the hostess, and reportedly hurled an object at her. But Lempurkel yesterday dismissed the claims as propaganda, saying it was witch-hunt by his Jubilee counterparts because he was the only Cord elected MP from the Laikipia region. He claimed he was discriminated against by the cabin crew of the said airline and was served a drink he had not ordered.

“I was approached by the flight attendant who wanted to serve me wine, but I questioned why I could not be given any other drink. Not happy with the turn of events, I told them I would not travel with them and asked to be let to disembark,” the MPssaid on telephone.

Speaking from his Laikipia North constituency, where he said he was busy collecting signatures for the Cord-fronted referendum, Lempurkel said the claims were part of a campaigns to dislodge him from his seat before 2017.

He said he had already raised a complaint with the Clerk of the National Assembly over the behaviour of the airline officials. Speaker Justin Muturi, who had just returned into the country from an official trip to Hungary, said yesterday though he was yet to receive any formal complaint, he had heard about the incident.

“Though I have heard of it, we cannot initiate any process because we have not received any formal complaint or information,” Muturi said last evening. The Committee on Implementation, chaired by Roselinda Soipan, has 28 members, most who travelled to Vienna and returned last Sunday.


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