I’m going to fight, vows Wairimu as Tob Cohen finally laid to rest

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 00:00 |
Jewish priests carry the casket bearing the remains of murdered Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen at the Jewish Cemetery in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/GERALD ITHANA

Emotions ran high yesterday during the burial of Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen held at the Jewish cemetery in Nairobi. 

His widow, Sarah Wairimu, who is also the prime suspect in his murder quietly followed the proceedings seemingly unperturbed by heavy security by her side.

The one-and-a-half hour session was conducted in Hebrew. 

After laying a wreath on Cohen’s grave, she blew a kiss tears rolling down her cheeks.

“One thing Tob taught me is never to take no for an answer. Even in this, I am going to fight. And even as we stand here, many of you, the one who is responsible for Tob’s death in sheep skin, your days are also numbered,” said Wairimu.

She was hurriedly whisked away to Prisons Department vehicle which was escorted by two police land cruisers. 

Though it started as a private ceremony, prominent persons later trickled in, including members of the First Family. Present were President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cousins Ngengi Muigai and Captain Kung’u Muigai.

“What was supposed to be a private funeral service has turned out to be a public service. I think we can say that the last journey of Tob Cohen has been dignified in what is befitting of Tob. We do not want to say more than that,” said Wairimu’s lawyer, Philip Murgor after the burial. 

Take plea

Cohen’s wife Sarah Wairimu 

“Sarah is grateful that she was given the chance to come during the final send-off of her late husband. All I can say is that when you who look into Sarah’s eyes, you do not see anybody responsible of what happened. I do not want to say more than that,” he added.

Cohen’s family lawyer Cliff Ombeta said issues of who is guilty or not can only be addressed in court.

“Here we cannot talk about who is guilty or innocent. Let us now proceed to the next level and that is in court,” he said. 

Wairimu is due to take plea on murder charges in court tomorrow. 

She was disinherited in Cohen’s will and everything granted to his sister Gabrielle Van Straten, brother Bernard Cohen and Gabrielle’s children.

Murgor has, however, termed the will as severely tampered with.

Only Bernard was present during the burial since Gabrielle and her husband, Roy Van Straten, left the country last week on Friday. 

Burial rite

At Chiromo Mortuary, the three Jewish priests conducted prayers before the body was ferried to the cemetery. 

Clad in black suits, white shirts and black hats, ten Jewish priests offloaded the casket before undertaking ten different recitations holding prayer books. 

A representative from the Netherlands Embassy was also in attendance. The burial ceremony kicked off at 3.50pm and ended at 5.10pm.  

Muthaiga Golf Club members where Cohen was organising tournaments were present, notably former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri, former Uchumi Supermarket Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ciano and former government spokesperson Muthui Kariuki.  

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