Thieves try to steal Barack Obama's grandma's solar panel

The elderly woman's village in Kenya lacks electricity, so she uses the panel to power a TV so she can follow the election.

By , Blogger for The Christian Science Monitor

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    Sarah Obama sits in the living room of her house in the village of Kogelo, near the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008.
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Now this is just cold. Some thieves attempted to steal the solar panel off the roof of Sarah Obama's house in Kenya.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the 86-year-old step-grandmother of the Democratic presidential candidate woke up Wednesday morning to the sounds people stomping on her roof. They were trying to pry off the solar panel. She and some other relatives chased the burglars away, and four men were later arrested.

Kenya's Daily Nation tells a different story: “I only realised that something had gone wrong when I went to make breakfast in the morning," the paper quotes Mrs. Obama as saying. "I did not hear anything in the night as it was raining.”

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Mrs. Obama's rural western village of Kogelo lacks electricity, and as recently as February she did not own a television. According to the Herald Tribune, the solar panel was a recent gift from a Kenyan airline executive who gave it to her, along with a television, so she could follow the election news.

Local police say they are now giving Mrs. Obama's home 24-hour protection.

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