January 31st, 2009
10:04 AM ET
6 months ago

Obama's half brother arrested in Kenya

 George Obama was arrested in Kenya on a charge for possession of marijuana, according to police.
George Obama was arrested in Kenya on a charge for possession of marijuana, according to police.

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) - George Obama, the half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, has been arrested by Kenyan police for possession of marijuana, police said Saturday.

Inspector Augustine Mutembei, the officer in charge, said Obama was arrested for possession of cannabis, known in Kenya as Bhang, and resisting arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Mutembei said.

He is being held at Huruma police post in the capital of Nairobi.

CNN Correspondent David McKenzie talked with George Obama at the jail where he is being held. Speaking from behind bars, Obama denied the allegations.

"They took me from my home," he said, "I don't know why they are charging me."

George Obama and the president barely know each other, though they have met before. George Obama was one of the president's few close relatives who did not go to the inauguration in Washington last week.

In his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama describes meeting George as a "painful affair." Barack Obama's trip to Kenya meant meeting family he had never known.

McKenzie tracked down George Obama in August 2008 and found him at a small house in Huruma, a Nairobi slum, where he lives with his mother's extended family. His birth certificate shows he is Barack Obama's half brother.

The two men share the same Kenyan father.

In the memoir, Barack Obama struggles to reconcile with his father after he left him and his mother when he was just a child.

Like his half brother, George hardly knew his father. Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident when George was just 6 months old.

George was his father's last child and had not been aware of his half brother's fame until he rose to prominence in the Democratic primaries last year.

Unlike his grandmother in Kogela, in western Kenya, George Obama had received little attention from the media until reports about him surfaced in August 2008.

The reports sprung from an Italian Vanity Fair article saying George Obama lived in a shack and was "earning less than a dollar a day."

The reports left George Obama angry.

"I was brought up well. I live well even now," he said. "The magazines, they have exaggerated everything.

"I think I kind of like it here. There are some challenges, but maybe it is just like where you come from, there are the same challenges," Obama said.

Obama, who is in his mid-20s, said at the time that he was learning to become a mechanic and was active in youth groups in Huruma. He said he tried to help the community as much as he can.

– From CNN's David McKenzie


Filed under: Obama family
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Sean from New Jersey

    but when it was Sarah Palin's daughter's fiance's mother being arrested on drug charges it was a huge issue....it's that liberal media

    January 31, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  2. Bob

    With his criminal record he is now qualified to a member of BHO's staff.

    January 31, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Max

    Roger Clinton and Billy Carter all over again.

    January 31, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Fughdehdaboudit

    This is barely worth mentioning on the Political Ticker. There are other stories that are more relevant.

    January 31, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. rich

    Would CNN had reported this if President Obama was not who he is? Such opputunistic behavior on CNN part. I'ts so apparent.

    January 31, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. lolo

    why obama NOT help him..well he just like giving welfare only for political reason as long not come from his pocket

    January 31, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. mjm

    Send in the Marines?

    No?

    January 31, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. DIGUSTED X2

    THIS IS NEWS BECAUSE IT'S EXACTLY WHAT EVERYONE WAS WAITING FOR . OBAMA IS A MUSLUM, DRUG LORD, BABIES DADDY FROM THE WELFARE LINE, HATER, RACIEST BUT BEST OF ALL THE ANTICHRIST. WOW, I HAVE HEARD IT ALL!!!
    ACCORDING TO THE INCAS, MIIA, NOSTORAMAS, AND EVERYOTHER GODLY THING, BEING, OBAMA IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF ALL TO COME. YES FOLKS, HE IS THE ANTICHRIST, GIVE OR TAKE A FEW MONTHS FROM NOW, THE SEALS WILL BE BROKEN AND THE FOUR HORSEMAN WILL BE RELEASED.

    I AM SO PROUD I VOLUNTEERED FOR THE ANTICHRIST AND IF THAT MEANS I'M GOING TO HELL FOR FEELING SO GREAT IN MY HEART ABOUT SOMEONE WHO PROMISED ME HE WAS GOING TO CHANGE MY GREAT NATION TO BE FRUITFULL AGAIN,

    BRING ON THE MATCHES

    January 31, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. DP

    But the majority of you had no problem bashing palin for the son in law's mother.

    January 31, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Wayne D. PA

    I guess they want Pres. Obama to bail his brother out.

    January 31, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. DP

    Dear CNN,
    Please stick to just reporting on the news. Leave the gossip to US magazine and Entertainment Tonight!

    January 31, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. LJinLACA

    It really isn't news.

    Real people have real relatives in real situations.

    I wish George the best, and hope this isn't politically motivated on the Kenyan's part...

    January 31, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  13. Osric

    Not worth commenting

    February 1, 2009 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
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