'Sober up,' official urges Kenyan president, who's being called 'commander in drinks'

REUTERS

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta tells Supreme Court "crooks" he's still in charge.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been urged to stop drinking alcohol and "sober up" by a top union official

The head of Kenya's Central Organisation of Trade Unions, the umbrella body for the country's trade unions, Francis Atwoli, made a plea to Kenyatta in a press conference in Nairobi on Sunday.

"I am appealing to the president to be (a) little bit sober. Even the way he is addressing the public he appears not sober,'' Atwoli said. "You still have a large following in Kenya, sober up!"

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, is being called "commander in drinks" on social media.
HANDOUT/REUTERS

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, is being called "commander in drinks" on social media.

Kenyatta appeared on state television speaking to supporters on Friday night and Saturday after the Supreme Court canceled his re-election and ordered fresh polls within 60 days. Kenyatta lashed out at the chief justice and the judiciary referring to them as "crooks" who had stolen his victory.

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Francis Atwoli, secretary general of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions in Kenya, wants President Uhuru Kenyatta ...
THOMAS MUKOYA/REUTERS

Francis Atwoli, secretary general of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions in Kenya, wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to be "a little bit sober".

Kenyatta "appeared not to be sober" at the event, said Atwoli, who warned Kenyatta he may lose supporters because of his conduct.

Many Kenyans on social media have made fun of Kenyatta's appearance, some calling him "commander in drinks".

In September 2015, photographer and activist Boniface Mwangi publicly urged Kenyatta to seek treatment for alcoholism. In a letter Mwangi said stories abound about Kenyatta's drinking escapades including how official guests have been kept waiting as Kenyatta's handlers try to sober him up and how Kenyatta has shown up late at state functions reeking of alcohol. "There are many more but l would rather not tell them all," Mwangi wrote.

Mwangi said the people who encouraged Kenyatta to vie for the presidency did not have Kenya's best interests at heart.

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"The people around the president will cover up his sickness," wrote Mwangi, "but one day it might cost this country greatly."

 - AP

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