27 November 2012

Kenya: Obama Brother Listed for TNA

Photo: Katy Gabel/allAfrica
Obama's half-brother, Malik Abango, center right, failed to clinch the position of Siaya County governor (file photo).

PRESIDENT Barack Obama's half brother Malik Abongo Obama has been listed as a TNA aspirant to contest the seat for the Siaya governorship.

However Malik yesterday insisted he was running as an independent candidate for Siaya governor but not with Uhuru Kenyatta's party. "I have never registered as a member of TNA nor do I being to any political party. You are the one informing me that my name is there," he told the Star. "He made an application to run on the TNA ticket for the governor of Siaya. That application is under consideration," a senior TNA official told the Star.

Malik said he did not know who had registered him with TNA adding that he had friends everywhere who might have enlisted him. "Obviously I am Obama and as such people will tend to use my name for their own selfish reasons. You can check the records at the IEBC which shows I have never registered in any party. I also wrote to the registrar's office saying I am an independent," he said.

Malik, Barack Obama's half-brother, was born in 1958 in Nairobi. He has an accountancy degree from the University of Nairobi. He first met the US president in 1985 when Barack flew from Chicago to Washington DC to see him. The two became best men in each other's weddings.

Malik is a frequent visitor to the United States but runs a small electronics shop in Nyang'oma Kogelo. During his brother's presidential campaign, Malik Obama was a spokesman for the extended Obama family in Kenya.

Malik however said he was willing to work with any party if he shares it vision and agenda. Asked if TNA was such a party, Malik said it would all depend on the TNA vision for the country and Siaya County.

"I am a public figure and if I decide to join any party, I will do so in daylight and invite everyone to witness," he added. TNA secretary general Onyango Oloo could not confirm or deny that Malik was among the party's aspirants saying he needed first to check with the records.

"TNA is a national movement that seeks to traverse the country from the lake to the mountains, from the coast to the valleys. If Malik decided to join us, the party will support him in all means," Oloo added.

Uhuru's party has aggressively been recruiting high profile politicians, especially from areas perceived as strongholds of his rivals. Siaya county is a stronghold of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and also his birthplace.

TNA Chairman Johnson Sakaja has said TNA and its partners want to capture at least 38 of the 47 counties senate and governorship seats, over 210 out of the 290 parliamentary seats and the majority of the county representative seats.

TNA has pushed its primaries to January from December following the ongoing voter registration exercise that will end on the December 18. Aspirants have until mid December to register their interest for various seats.

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