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Sonko now blames media over ‘acting president’ gaffe

Flamboyant Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko is no stranger to controversy.

The senator has punched walls, pulled down fences on alleged grabbed lands, fought with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero in front of a Senate committee, and his utterances have almost always been controversial.

But on Friday evening, he went a little too far, at least according to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, and thousands of Kenyans on social media who condemned his actions with the hashtag #GrowUpSonko.

He declared himself acting president during the funeral of former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti’s husband.

“President Uhuru is in Togo; Deputy President William Ruto is in France. I am number three in command, politically, influence-wise and socially. I am now the acting president of the Republic of Kenya,” he told mourners in videos captured by various media houses.

At the time he spoke, Mr Ruto was in Ikolomani in Kakamega in a rally while President Kenyatta was in Togo.

On Saturday, social media was awash with comments berating the senator, with lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi tweeting: “When Sonko says he is acting president of the Republic of Kenya and that is legally false … he commits treason … wapi IG na DPP (Where is the Inspector General of Police and the DPP)?”

In the constitutional hierarchy, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi comes third.

The senator has, however, said the footage being aired “is edited”.

In May 2014, the senator invited criticism for his apparent disrespect for the presidency when he put President Kenyatta’s call on speakerphone before police officers and government officials executing demolition orders.