US President Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik, has attracted the wrath of his relatives for expressing support for presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Malik flew to Las Vegas in the US to show solidarity with Mr Trump, who is running for the presidency on a Republican Party ticket. President Obama is a democrat and is supporting the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Clan elders in Kogelo village, Siaya County, and Malik’s close relatives are angry about his decision to support Trump, who has dismissed Obama’s 10-year legacy.
One of the US President’s uncles, Said Obama, accused Malik of blackmailing his own brother.
“He has no moral authority to wage war against his brother and the President of the US, who is highly respected across the globe,” said Mr Said.
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Eating with the enemy
“As President Obama’s immediate family, we distance ourselves from Malik’s relationship with Trump, whose utterances and threats against Muslims and Africans living in the US have shocked the world,” he added.
Martin Ogada, another elder, said they were considering cursing Malik.
“We are closely monitoring his behaviour and his decision to continue eating with the enemy. If he doesn’t change, we may be forced to put a curse on him,” said Mr Ogada.
The international press has widely quoted Malik as saying he had accepted Trump’s invitation to be his guest at the third and final debate with Ms Clinton in Las Vegas.
The British Broadcasting Corporation quoted Malik as having told the New York Post that he would attend the debate as Trump’s special guest.
Malik, who has both Kenyan and US citizenship, said: “I am excited to be at the debate and I believe that Trump can make America great again.”
In the New York Post interview, Malik dismissed criticism from women who have accused Trump of groping and kissing them, saying: “I don’t believe them. Why didn’t they come forward before?”
Trump told the newspaper that he looked forward to meeting Malik. “He gets it far better than his brother,” said Trump.
Last year, Malik shocked his family both in Kenya and the US when he declared support for Trump, saying President Obama had not done much for the American people or his extended family in Kenya despite high expectations when he took office.
Said said yesterday it was not surprising that Malik had accepted Trump’s invitation, adding that he (Malik) had always fallen into the cheap trap of those fighting Obama.
“We know him. He is being used to paint the Obama family negatively. We will just ignore him and move on,” he said.
Efforts to reach Malik by phone were unsuccessful as he was said to have already arrived in Las Vegas.
Interestingly, in an interview two months ago, Malik denied claims that he had endorsed Trump. He accused the media of fuelling and publishing wrong information about him with the aim of creating a rift between him and the family.
He said the media had no mercy on him and was on a mission to taint his image to the entire world.
“I have worked so hard to improve my family relationships but the media is out to paint me negatively. You people have no mercy regarding what you publish about me. You want to destroy my family,” Malik was quoted as saying.
He also laughed off relatives’ statements that his decision to vote for Trump was personal and claimed there was no way his clan could denounce him.
“How can a clan denounce someone? I talk to you people and give the right information but everything is distorted when published. The media is very corrupt and they do not help me with anything,” he said during a phone conversation with The Standard.