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Obama’s aunt Zeituni buried in Kisumu

Tuesday May 6 2014

Muslim faithful pray before the burial of US

Muslim faithful pray before the burial of US President Barack Obama's aunt, Zeituni Onyango (inset) at the Sunni Muslim cemetery in Kisumu on May 6, 2014. PHOTO/JACOB OWITI 

ELVIS ONDIEKI
By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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Ms Zeituni Onyango, the aunt of US president Barack Obama, was buried at the Kisumu Muslim cemetery on Tuesday morning.

Ms Onyango was buried three hours after her body arrived at the Kisumu International Airport from the US.

The body was taken for dressing at a relative’s house at Kaloleni Estate before it was taken to the cemetery.

A Muslim cleric said the burial ceremony was done as soon as possible in accordance with Islamic guidelines.

“We have done in accordance with the regulations of Islam. We had to find the body a resting place as soon as possible, and not because we feared anything,” said Sheikh Musa Ismail.

Mr Ebel Mboya Okoko, a man claiming to have been the husband of Ms Onyango, had earlier threatened to seek legal redress to obtain the right to bury her.

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“I want to state categorically that my efforts to seek legal redress still remain a last resort,” Mr Mboya told the Nation on Monday.

Ms Onyango’s son Feisal Mboya said it is true that Mr Mboya was once his mother’s husband.

“It is true that he was claiming to be married to my mother, but there are some basic questions that really need to be asked here because, as you can see, we are all grown up. Our father abandoned us when we were very young. The person who raised us was our late mother. We owe our lives to her,” he said.

He added that it was absurd for Mr Mboya to make a claim after the death.

“I can’t really understand why he should all of a sudden come after death of our mother to claim she was married to her. Have you ever asked him whether he ever built a house for her? What in the last time he saw her or talked to her?

“All we want to do now is lay our mother in peace and by the grace of our Lord we are grateful that we have done that,” he said.