Nairobi County governor Mike Sonko during the swearing in of Nairobi County executive committee members at Charter hall on November 10, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTENairobi County governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
By HILARY KIMUYU

Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has come out to defend himself for a toe-curling protocol gaffe during the Jamhuri Day celebrations on Tuesday at Kasarani Stadium.

Sonko erroneously referred to Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta by her mother-in-law’s name in his speech during the celebrations that was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Also in attendance was the First Lady, Deputy President William Ruto, key government officials and distinguished members of the diplomatic corp.

Part of Sonko’s speech, which he shared with his followers on social media, read:

Your Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta,

Your Excellency the First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta (sic),

The erroneous reference to the First Lady as Mama Ngina Kenyatta is what caught the attention of his online followers who quickly pointed it out.

Surprisingly, Sonko engaged his followers with a pointless explanation in an attempt to justify the glaring mistake.

REACTIONS ON FACEBOOK

Rawlings Shikuku Steven’s wrote: “The Editor of this Speech , should gve way to serious candidates ;the Current First Lady at State House is Her Excellence Margaret KenyattaNetizens wondered why even after noticing the mistake he had not corrected it.”

H.E Mama ngina Kenyatta is the former first lady… The current first Lady comes by the name Margaret Kenyatta… Yawaa… can’t spoon feed u man! learn,” commented Gilbert Kipkemoi Mosonik.

Kendi Muthoni wrote, Mama Ngina is the first mother not the first lady,” while Esther Kamau said “If u could have gone thr’the speech b4 reading it… i believe u could have realised the mistake…’Mama Ngina Kenyatta’ but ni sawa Sonko… ebu make Nai clean… I long to See Nairobi Clean free feom garbages allover.”

But to all these comments Sonko had one standard response:

The former first lady Her Excellency Mama Ngina Kenyatta was not present at Kasarani but Her Excellency the first lady MARGRET KENYATTA has a daughter named NGINA KENYATTA so she can as well be referred to as MAMA NGINA KENYATTA.”

There are are however those who sympathetic to the governor, like one Purity Mbaya who wrote:

“Every human is to error. I remember Uhuru omitting some words in his one previous speech simply because he couldn’t pronounce the words . he asked “nini hii waliandika” Mike Congrants. Wenye wivu wameze wembe. An English Language study revealed that out of all English words, a native English speaker ends up using only 400 words in his lifetime during communication.”

To which the Sonko promptly replied: “Thanks Purity for coming to my rescue.”