Malik's Trump endorsement exposes frosty relationship with Obama

Monday July 25 2016

President Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik Abong’o, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 16, 2014 to discuss the death of their aunt Zeituni Onyango.

President Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik Abong’o, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 16, 2014 to discuss the death of their aunt Zeituni Onyango. Mr Malik has endorsed Republican Party candidate Donald Trump. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
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US President Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik says he endorsed the election of Republican Party candidate Donald Trump because he is a “down-to-earth” person.

An excited Mr Trump on Monday tweeted that Mr Malik will vote for him.

“Wow, President Obama’s brother Malik just announced that he is voting for me,” tweeted the flamboyant billionaire, who will fight it out with Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton for the White House.

On Sunday, Mr Malik described Mr Trump as a visionary leader who will help transform the US economy.

“Donald is a down-to-earth kind of person, he also approaches issues directly and does not mince his words and being a candidate of the Republican Party I support his candidature,” said Mr Malik in a phone interview with the Nation.

OBAMA'S AUNT

Mr Malik said he supports the Republican Party because it had stopped the deportation of his aunt Zeituni Onyango.

Ms Onyango was the half-sister of Mr Obama's father.

According to Mr Malik, then US President George Bush came up with policies that accommodated Ms Onyango, who was given asylum.

Ms Onyango went to the US in 2000 and sought political asylum in 2002. Her asylum application was rejected in 2004, and she was ordered to leave the US.

She, however, refused to leave and sought American citizenship. However, a court granted her asylum in 2010. 

Ms Onyango died in April 2014 and her body was flown to Kisumu for burial.

FROSTY RELATIONSHIP

The relationship between Mr Malik and his famous brother has been frosty. Mr Malik in 2008 opposed then senator Obama’s candidature for the US presidency.

On Monday, Mr Malik accused President Obama of ignoring his Kenyan family and the African continent after he was elected the first black president of the US despite using his Kenyan roots as a strong pillar of his 2008 presidential campaigns.

“President Obama is my brother and I love him, but he is a hypocrite because he has neglected his African heritage and wants nothing to do with it despite campaigning on a platform that he will help transform Africa,” said Mr Malik.

He urged Americans to vote for Mr Trump and Republican Party candidates. 

Already, President Obama has endorsed Mrs Clinton, saying she is the most qualified to succeed him and protect his legacy.

(Editing by Joel Muinde)