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Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel kicked out of plane for being 'rogue passenger'

By Job Weru | Published Tue, September 30th 2014 at 00:00, Updated September 30th 2014 at 09:22 GMT +3

An MP from Laikipia was last week barred from flying to Europe for allegedly being drunk and disorderly.

Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel was forced to disembark from a plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after the pilot reportedly declared him a "rogue passenger".

Mr Lempurkel was to accompany other MPs who were headed for Austria.

Sources said he boarded the plane while drunk and started making demands.

But yesterday, Lempurkel denied being drunk but confirmed that he was to travel and had boarded the plane but left in protest due to "discrimination within the plane".

He claimed the plane had been delayed for about one hour and this caused him to start taking alcohol within the airport. The MP said he had only taken four bottles of beer when the plane arrived at the departure lounge.

"When the plane arrived and we boarded, I asked to be served with the beer I was taking, but the crew claimed they do not serve beer but wine. I felt discriminated.

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"I did not slap, shout or rough anybody up. I was not even ejected. I left the plane voluntarily in protest to the discrimination I witnessed inside the plane," Lempurkel said.

He added that he also demanded to be handed his luggage, which had already been checked in.

"I have protested in writing to the Clerk of the National Assembly and the agent who booked my flight. I wonder why they booked a plane which had connections to Dubai and then Vienna, while our own Kenya Airways has direct flights to Europe," he said, adding that he has instructed his lawyers to take action against the airline over the "discrimination".

But Lempurkel's version of events differs with the accounts of those who witnessed the incident.

An MP who accompanied Lempurkel and who sought anonymity said the Laikipia North lawmaker boarded the plane and demanded to be served with a brand of a Kenyan beer.

The MP added that the plane had delayed for about 10 minutes while waiting for the MP, only for him to board and start causing drama inside.

"Other passengers had boarded and we had to wait for him to board, but he came in drunk. He immediately demanded to be served with a local beer, but the crew told him they could only serve alcohol when the plane was airborne," said the MP.

"The pilot declared he would not fly a rogue passenger and the MP was thrown out," said the source.

According to our source, the plane was supposed to take off at 11.50am but was delayed due to the incident.

Another source claimed he was dropped by his driver and bodyguard at the airport earlier in the day and he got into a bar.

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