Kenya Thieves Target Obama Granny

BBC News, September 11, 2008

Kenyan police have stepped up security in the village of US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s grandmother, after a break-in at her home.

The police believe the thieves were trying to steal a solar panel from Sarah Hussein Obama’s tin roof.

Four people have been arrested and patrols increased around Alego-Kogello village, 60km (37 miles) from Kisumu.

The Illinois senator is a local hero in his father’s homeland, where a local beer has been named after him.

Correspondents say bottles of Senator are now referred to as “Obama” in honour of the Democratic party presidential hopeful.

Fear

The robbery occurred on Wednesday night, when thieves broke down the kitchen door.

“I only realised that something had gone wrong when I went to make breakfast in the morning. I did not hear anything in the night as it was raining,î Kenya’s Daily Nation quotes Mrs Obama, 86, as saying.

She said she now feared for her safety.

“These are just people from around who think that Obama has been sending me a lot of money,” she told the East African Standard paper.

Area police commander Johnston Ipara said the robbers were unable to dismantle the panels and nothing was stolen.

“There is now a 24-hour security patrol in the entire village to curb any further incidents,” he told AFP news agency.

Mr Obama—the first black person to be nominated by either main party in the US—faces Republican candidate John McCain in elections on 4 November.

Mr Obama has never lived in Kenya and he has visited the country just three times.

His father, Barack Obama senior, was born in the remote village in western Kenya, where he herded goats as a child.

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