News / Africa

Q&A: Kenyan Cleric, Recently Shot, Predicted Death

Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, right, with his lawyer, at the High Court, Mombasa, October, 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, right, with his lawyer, at the High Court, Mombasa, October, 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
The radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, was killed by unknown gunmen Tuesday evening outside Mombasa's Shanzu Law Courts.

Accused by U.S. and U.N. officials of supporting Somalia-based al-Shabab militants, Makaburi was connected with Mombasa's controversial Masjid Musa Mosque, where Kenyan security forces recently carried out a series of deadly raids, leaving the city's Muslim community shaken.

News reports indicate Mombasa's top police officer Robert Kitur recently defended the raids, telling Justice Edward Mureithi of Mombasa's High Court that the facility was stormed only after "intelligence that some extremists were there radicalizing youth," and that the situation posed a threat to national security.

Makaburi's killing comes just days after he publicly expressed support for al Shabaab and the group's 2013 Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack in Nairobi.

What follows are key excerpts from a 2013 VOA interview in which Makaburi talks about another slain cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo and also predicts his own death.

Yusuf: You are accused of being an al-Shabab supporter and also the group's recruiter in Mombasa.

Makaburi: I have never seen a recruitment booth in Mombasa or any specific place where a youth can go and be recruited. That is a lie. What is being done in Mombasa is [that] people are taught their religion and, in Islam, we do not have borders.

Yusuf: Why do you think some youths are joining al-Shabab?

Makaburi: Its oppression. We Muslims know that we are getting killed. Our government is killing us. ... Now, when you get killed, there is nowhere to go for help, like the case against Sheikh Aboud Rogo: a year has passed [since his 2012 killing] and... nothing. Nothing will be gotten from the government. No justice. That's what make the youth angry.

Yusuf: Police have repeatedly said people are not coming forward to give information that can lead to the arrests of the gunmen or killers of your friends.

Makaburi: Who will come out to tell the police that you killed (sic)? They are afraid for their lives. If they are true to their word, [the people] are accusing the police of killing Muslims in Mombasa; if [the police] are true to their words, there should be a non-partial investigation. They should not be involved in that investigation. How can a killer investigate himself?

Yusuf: Some of your friends, like Aboud Rogo, have been killed. What has life been like without your friends around you?

Makaburi: Very lonely. All my friends are dead. I know the killers. I cannot do anything about it. I cannot get justice for my friends' killers. It's very lonely.

Yusuf: Do you fear for your life?

Makaburi: I don't fear for my life, because I am a devoted Muslim. I believe in Qadr [destiny]. I believe I will not die except the day [it is] written that I will die, on the second that has been written."

Yusuf: Do you think you will be done with these terror cases in court whether you are found guilty or not?

Makaburi: I don't think I will finish the case. They will kill me before that.

Yusuf: And why is that?

Makaburi: Because I believe in Islam and am ready to die for it. And because I will not keep quiet and let my religion being stomped upon.
 
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
x
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
Radical Kenyan cleric Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, at home, October 2013. (Mohammed Yusuf/VOA)
Yusuf: Where is your family? It looks like there is no one here except you?

Makaburi: My family cannot stay with me. They are afraid they will be killed. I am staying by myself.

Yusuf: How often do you see your family?

Makaburi: I see them regularly but they cannot stay with me. Nobody from my family comes and visits me, because they do not know at what time the government squad killers will come for me.

Yusuf: I understand you have a boy, age nine, how will your son view your death?

Makaburi: My son will know that his father was the one who was wronged, because, as you have seen today, I was in court. I am obeying the law. It's the government which is breaking the law. It's the government which is killing the people extra-judicially.

Peter Cobus contributed to this report from Washington.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: Kenya
April 04, 2014 4:22 PM
Good riddance!! I am glad the Kenyan Govt' got rid of this fellow. Next is Samntha fckin Lewthwaite. To hell with all these scumbags who kill in the name of religion. And it is time Kenyan troops leave Somalia, these lot are not worth it! Kenya has no business in Somalia and Somali's have no business in Kenya - case closed.

by: bilal from: nairobi
April 03, 2014 5:55 AM
they r killing muslims who r not moderate and they dem radical.there's no moderate muslim in dis world as our martyr said.

by: Christopher from: Kenya
April 02, 2014 1:54 PM
God pays what you saw

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs