6 May 2014

Kenya: Obama's Aunt Buried in Kisumu as Family Denies Rift

Photo: Katy Gabel/AlllAfrica
Obama's relatives (file photo).

US President Barack Obama's late aunt Zeituni Onyango was buried in Kisumu on Tuesday as family members denied the existence of any rift between them.

Zeituni was laid to rest at the Sunni Muslim Cemetery under tight security after reports that a man claiming to be Zeituni's husband had moved to court to block the burial.

Saidi Obama, a brother to the late Zeituni said the family was astonished by reports that the larger Obama family is in disarray and says that they are united.

"Lately there have been reports saying that there is a rift in the larger Obama family. I can say now that there is no rift in the family because we are united and that was a very big lie that we are fighting," he said.

Faisal Mboya, the first born of Zeituni says their father abandoned them when they were young and had got no moral authority to block the burial.

"There are some basic questions that need to be answered because we are all grown up and unfortunately our father abandoned us when we were very young. Right now the person that made us who we are today is our late mother," he stated.

Zeituni is survived by three sons and a daughter. Her mother Mama Sarah Obama paid her last respects but did not accompany the body to the graveside in accordance with Islamic tradition.

Zeituni died in a Boston rehabilitation centre after several years of sickness. She previously survived a legal battle against deportation from the US.

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