MPs of Tanzania to undergo alcohol screening beforehand for National Assembly

Tanzania is set to install electronic gadgets that will be used to screen parliamentarians who have drunk or used marijuana before getting into the National Assembly, authorities said Sunday.

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Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai said plans are underway to fix those gadgets to address the increasing tendencies of MPs getting into the house while drunk.

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He said the House is also searching for professional psychotherapist to conduct counseling to a certain group of lawmakers who are alcohol addicts and those who use various types of drugs.

“There are so many unusual things happening in the House especially during the evening sessions. People do not only drink beer and spirits they also smoke and use drugs before entering the debating chamber,” Ndugai said.

The decision came in regard to the recent decision by President John Magufuli to annul the appointment of Home Affairs Minister, Charles Kitwanga for allegedly misbehaving in the parliament.

The Speaker stressed that there is a small group of MPs who normally misbehave in the parliament, but most of them are disciplined.

“Sometimes one or two legislators can disrupt the House proceedings and eventually bring disorder in the parliament”, Ndugai said.

He said the devices will help them identify and restrict anyone who is not normal from entering the debating chamber.

Commenting on the suspended Minister, the Speaker said the parliamentary ethics committee will meet over the matter. He said the sacked minister misbehaved in the parliament because he was not in his normal condition.

“We are not going to take any action against Kitwanga. He was drunk, what we can do is to help him through counseling. It is my responsibility to ensure that he returns to his normal condition”, he noted.

A statement issued by the president’s office on Friday night said that Kitwanga was dismissed with immediate effect for his alleged drunken misbehavior in parliament.

President John Magufuli’s decision was backed by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who said actions against the former Minister for Home Affairs were in accordance with public service regulations that prohibit drinking while on duty.

Majaliwa said civil servants must have a clear mind to be able to perform government duties properly.

Kitwanga becomes the first cabinet minister to be sacked by President Magufuli since he formed his new government in December last year. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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