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

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs at Global Summit Tackle Range of Challenges

    Innovators strive to halt sexual harassment in India, improve rural health in Myanmar, build businesses in Africa

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    X
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.
    Video

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora