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Sheikh Rogo widow blames killing on State and rogue preachers

SPECIAL REPORTS
By - | January 5th 2013

By David Ochami

Four months after the slaying of radical Islamist Sheikh Aboud Rogo, his widow, Haniya Said Saggar, still grieves at her home in Kanamai.

She has weaved a tissue of conspiracy theories to try to explain motives behind her husband’s violent death, ranging from Government agents to rival priests.

In all interviews, Haniya has not hesitated to depict the late preacher as an innocent victim of a conspiracy and even described him as a martyr.

“When he died, he only had a driving licence in his pocket,” she told The Standard On Saturday in a recent interview. The circumstances of his killing have only but affirmed her conspiracies that they eliminated an innocent family man, who loved his family in broad daylight, in front of his young daughter as he rushed a sick old man to hospital.

“He used to tell me that anytime they will kill me,” Haniya quotes Rogo saying a month before he was killed in Bamburi in Mombasa.

Haniya says although Rogo knew there were people out to kill him, he did not take precautions and continued to travel including by matatu and bus to attend terror related trials in Nairobi and other duties in Coast Province. However, she flatly denied claims her husband belonged to terror groups or could have also been killed by fellow terrorists.

Not surprisingly, and despite her wide knowledge, Haniya, claimed not to be aware that two weeks before his death, Sheikh Rogo had been declared a terrorist financier by the US Government. “On Sunday (August 26) he (Sheikh Rogo) left [his Kanamai house] for Mombasa town in a matatu. He said he had a committee meeting at Masjid Musa [where he preached],” said Haniya. It is not clear if Sheikh Rogo actually attended that meeting at the mosque situated in Majengo area of Mombasa.

Flying squad officers

Before embarking on the ill-fated journey that ended brutally, Haniya claims, the late Sheikh Rogo drove his cousin identified as Hafsa to Vipingo early August 27 and “he came back safely”.

Independent accounts show that on Thursday August 23 Flying Squad officers stopped Sheikh Rogo’s Nissan matatu near Kongowea market, apparently looking for the late radical. He was not in the vehicle.  His cousin, Ali, was driving it on that day. “They stopped and told him (Ali) that that was not his vehicle,” according to Haniya who alleged that one of the policemen to search the vehicle had participated in a raid at Sheikh Rogo’s house in Kanamai where weapons were allegedly found.

Ali and the Flying Squad could not be reached for an interview.

Haniya told investigators that she had no recollection of crucial details related to her husband’s death including the physical identity of attackers said to have opened fire on Sheikh Rogo’s vehicle from a separate car.

Although she was in the same car with her husband, Haniya said she could not identify the physical look of the alleged attackers or determine how many they were. “At first I thought it was a tyre burst,” she said referring to the sudden burst of gunfire.

“It was like the shots were coming from the bottom of the car,” she added. Yet she claimed to recall that during the shooting the road was unusually clear of vehicles on both sides.

She remembers Rogo spoke nothing as the shooting raged on. He continued driving until he was hit in the right side of the chest.

Haniya says that with hindsight “I think he was trying to save us” and adds that after being hit “he left the steering wheel but the vehicle kept moving and I knew he was dead.”

The vehicle stopped when it hit a ditch on the side of the road, about 200 metres from Bamburi Police Station with hundreds of local residents rushing to the scene before police, which Haniya finds strange.

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