Kenya: Why Cohen's Burial Has Been Postponed At the Eleventh Hour

Sarah Wairimu Cohen, widow of the late Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen, lay flowers at her late husband's grave on September 24, 2019 at the Jewish Cemetery in Nairobi.
23 September 2019

The late Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen's burial, which was to take place on Monday afternoon, has been postponed to Tuesday afternoon.

The burial has been pushed forward by 24 hours after only eight priests out of the 10 required showed up to perform the burial rite.


Jewish culture requires 10 priests and rabbi to conduct a burial ceremony.

The grave had already been dug when the postponement was announced.

Jewish traditions demands that a dead person is buried within the shortest possible time, with some exception.

Cohen's estranged wife, Sarah Wairimu, who is the main suspect in the tycoon's murder, and his brother Bernard Cohen were both present at the Jewish Community Cemetery on Monday afternoon.

Cohen's body was found in the septic in his compound on September 13 2019, almost 60 days after he was reported missing.


On Monday morning, the High Court had directed the officer commanding Lang'ata Women Prison to escort Ms Wairimu to attend the burial ceremony.

Lady Justice Stellah Mutuku Monday had directed the Lang'ata prison boss to facilitate Wairimu's presence at what had been expected to be a private ceremony beginning 2pm.

Last week, Wairimu filed an application seeking the court to issue a production order and also be escorted to the Jewish Cemetery.

It is not yet clear if she will use the same order for Tuesday's burial or she will have to file for another application.

Wairimu is due for psychiatric assessment before she pleads to the murder charge on September 26.

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