Drunk drivers should work in mortuaries as punishment, says Nairobi MCA

A man inspects the wreck of a matatu that was involved in an accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway on April 18. [Anthony Gitonga]

You will be deployed to work in a mortuary as punishment if found guilty of drunk driving, according to a new proposal by a Nairobi MCA that seeks to reduce the number of related accidents.

If the proposal is passed, an offender will be required to clean and carry out any other administrative duties in the morgue for a full day, under the supervision of the chief administrator of the mortuary where they will be deployed, as part of community service.

Drunk drivers have been blamed for the many accidents that have been recorded, not just in the city, but across the country. The proposal by Kahawa West MCA Clement Ng'ang'a Kamaru, is meant to act as a deterrent.

Community service order

Those found guilty of driving while intoxicated will be deployed at a mortuary for community service, under a Community Service Order, according to the proposal titled; "Introduction of a Community Service for all Drink and Drive Conviction at the County Mortuary facilities for Deterrence".

Dr Kamaru told the House that while there are existing laws to arrest the vice, cases of road accidents linked to drunk driving have continued to rise hence the need for a new form of punishment for offenders.

"Road accidents linked to drunk driving have remained high, not only in Nairobi County but also in the country, forming at least 32 per cent of all the reported accidents," Kamaru said.

For this plan to be realised, Kamaru said there is a need for collaboration between the national and county governments, and the Judiciary.

"The introduction of this kind of community service for the offenders will help change people's attitudes and bring awareness on the imminent loss of life because of unlawful and unethical acts," Kamaru said.

Traumatising offenders

His Maringo/Hamza counterpart, Patrick Macharia said the proposal should however be amended to avoid traumatising offending motorists.

Dr Macharia observed that only the culprits who will be found to have caused accidents while drunk should be subjected to the punishment.

He said the punishment would be unfair for those only found intoxicated but have not harmed anyone.

"The government should also come up with a mechanism of monitoring the habits of licensed drivers and record the number of accidents they cause. Those found to have misbehaved several times should be subjected to strict punishment," said Macharia.

The proposal now awaits the contribution of other members on the floor before it is passed or rejected.

If passed, the Implementation Committee will then escalate it to the county executive.​​