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Police widen search for more suspects in Cohen’s killing

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At least four suspects are on the run following the killing of Dutch businessman Tob Cohen at his home in Kitisuru, Nairobi.

Two suspects have been arrested in investigations into the killing. Police say more suspects participated in the killing, either directly or indirectly, and that some of them are on the run.

According to police, a valuable witness, initially held as a suspect, informed them that a linkman was used to hire the killers who waited for Cohen in his house on July 20, and killed him.The same suspect is said to have led police to the scene where the body was found.

Police told the court that preliminary investigations had indicated that some witnesses were coached to give false testimony on the movement of Cohen.

Another suspect

Another suspect on the run is a man believed to have been drinking with Cohen at a club in Westlands on the same day he went missing.Cohen is also said to have met two women known to him over lunch at the club.

The women were questioned by police and said they parted ways with Cohen at about 3pm. That is the time his mobile phone was switched off.

Cohen is said to have stayed at the club till late, and with a man who is yet to be found. The man, so far known to police, later dropped Cohen home at night.  Police say the Dutch businessman was killed the same night.His wife, Sarah Wairimu, who is a suspect in the killing, is set to appear in court again today.

Police have so far placed more suspects at the scene of crime on the day Cohen is said to have been killed.

Refused to reveal

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti refused to reveal more details on the suspect turned witness in the case, only stating that police had two suspects in custody and that they were looking for more.“We have two suspects so far and we are going to arrest more. Anybody who was involved in this gruesome murder shall not be spared. But there are more who are involved, not just two,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Revealed: Blow that killed dutch billionaire Tob Cohen

Kinoti said Cohen’s house remains a scene of crime since the time the incident was reported to them. Police suspect he was killed inside the house.“We never wanted to leave anything to chance. We have widened the net to make sure this crime is not covered at all. There is no perfect crime,” he said.

Police found the body of Cohen, 69, in a septic tank within his home’s compound on Friday, September 13, after he went missing on July 20.Physical analysis at the scene showed he was tortured and his hands tied to the back before he was strangled, his body wrapped in a nylon paper and blanket and stuffed in the septic tank that was sealed with cement. A postmortem examination is planned today.

Parties in the matter were yesterday alerted of today’s postmortem examination and subsequent burial tomorrow.Reports indicate that Cohen wished to be buried 36 hours after his death, hence the plans to bury him soon after the tests.

Lawyer Philip Murgor, for Cohen’s widow, said they intended to be present during the postmortem examination to, among other things, establish the time he died.

“Experts will tell how long the body had been at the scene or probable day the man was killed. We understand police picked the cement that covered the septic tank for further analysis,” said Murgor.The lawyer has also protested the involvement of former Gatundu South MP Patrick Muiruri in the matter, saying he was intimidating Wairimu’s workers.

READ ALSO:   Sarah Wairimu Cohen wants Tob Cohen’s death certificate and Sh500 million for ‘loss’ of property

Frightened workers

“They informed me that they were ordered by Mr Patrick Muiruri to vacate the house, and go back to where they came from. They seemed very frightened by what Muiruri told them. I asked them to stay until proper arrangements had been made to secure the property,” he said in a message to Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

He questioned the authority of Muiruri to give orders about a property that did not belong to him.Muiruri said he had known Cohen for more than 30 years and was very close to him. He said they played golf together.

He added that he talked to Cohen for 15 minutes on the night he went missing. Peter Karanja, the other suspect who has been in custody since Friday, is expected to be presented in a Kiambu Court.

Karanja, a former husband to Gilgil MP Martha Wangari, was arrested following information that he was in contact with Wairimu and that at some point she sent him Sh40,000. Police are investigating whether this had anything to do with the killing.His family has protested and complained that he has been held beyond the constitutional period.Karanja’s lawyer, Ham Lagat, said he was arrested on Tuesday and wondered why he had not been presented in court.Mr Lagat said Karanja was known to and enjoyed business relationships with the Cohens.

“He is a victim of circumstances. He has never committed any criminal offence. Let the police take note of his businesses. He is not a flight risk,” said Lagat.

He claims Karanja recorded a statement under duress. “He was under pressure when he recorded the statement. Can a person of his stature receive Sh18,000 to commit the said crime?” said the lawyer.According to the lawyer, there was no court order or holding charge on his client.“He is being detained illegally. We intend to make an application for his production in court,” he said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Cohen's body was "planted" in the compound a few days ago, declares Sarah Wairimu

Lagat claimed Karanja was first taken to Eburu Forest, where he was threatened and harassed to sign documents.Murgor has protested the prosecution’s handling of the scene, saying there is a possibility that Cohen’s body was planted there.

Wairimu has also denied police claims.Police are further investigating letters Wairimu produced claiming they were from her husband before he was killled. The letters indicated that Cohen was withdrawing complaints he had made to police against his wife and a divorce case he had lodged.Police suspect the letters were forged. Wairimu told police that Cohen indicated he was heading to Thailand for medical checks on the day he went missing.

Personal belongings

Wairimu had also told police her husband packed his personal belongings on the material day and drove out of their compound in a taxi.The couple was battling a divorce case that Cohen filed last December.

At the centre of the dispute was their matrimonial home.The Dutch embassy in Nairobi reported Cohen missing to police after his family approached the Dutch police saying they could not reach him on his mobile phone.Cohen had lived in Kenya for more than 30 years.

Workers at his home told police Cohen removed security cameras at his home days before he went missing. Wairimu is said to have replaced them two weeks later.Online, Wairimu once posted a video on Youtube in which she painted Cohen as a cruel man who abused alcohol and other substances.

“He is a chain smoker and that is slowing him down. And for a long time Tob has been abusing substances and that is why, unknown to many, he had all this aggression and couldn’t handle situations,” she says in the video.

By Standard

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Health

151 cases, but Kibra isn’t on lockdown

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The government appears hesitant to put Nairobi’s Kibra estate on lockdown despite increased number of Covid-19 cases that now stand at 151.

This figure is more than the cases recorded in Eastleigh and Mombasa’s Old Town which are on lockdown until June 6, 2020. The two areas were put under lockdown by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on May 6 after recording 58 and 67 cases, respectively. So far, Eastleigh has 121 and while Old Town has 91 cases.

Issuing yesterday’s Covid-19 update where he announced 143 new cases, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said informal settlements in the country were on the government’s radar. “We have seen increasing concern around Kibra partly because of extended testing,” said Dr Aman.

Aman announced that surveillance teams were focusing on Kenya’s largest informal.“If these numbers continue to increase, necessary interventions have to be taken,” he said. The number of Covid-19 cases in Kibra have been increasing steadily.

Between May 21 and May 28, the area had 99 cases. The adjacent Lang’ata area had 31 cases, most of which the ministry said were from Kibra.

From yesterday’s figures, where 143 people tested positive across the country, Kibra came second after Makadara estate in Nairobi. Out of the 86 cases in Nairobi, 45 were from Makadara while 21 were from Kibra.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: See what Jean Ayako, a US-based Kenyan lady thinks happened to Tob Cohen

Embakasi South come third with six cases. Langata had one case. There was no reported case from Eastleigh. Health Director General Patrick Amoth said densely populated informal settlements have become hotspots for the disease.

“It is practically difficult to ensure social distancing. The only measure left (in informal settlements) now is hygiene and use of masks,” said Dr Amoth.

According to the Director General, lack of access to clean water has played a role in the disease’s rapid spread in informal settlements.

Apart from Kibra, Eastleigh and now Makadara, Mathare is the other informal settlement which has registered more cases, the highest being 33.

So far, the disease has spread to 33 counties, the latest being Kericho which reported one case in Ainamoi area. Uasin Gishu reported 11 cases, all truck drivers.

August peak

The peak of the disease in Kenya is expected to be around August and September when the Health ministry predicts a daily tally of 200. “By then, we will be at 4,000 or 5,000 cases and by our fatality ratio, we will be at 160 or 180 deaths then,” said Amoth.

Up to 63 people have died so far from the disease, majority being those with underlying health conditions like asthma, hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions. Majority of the dead were more than 55 years old, prompting the Health ministry to issue caution on unique symptoms of the disease among the elderly. The common symptoms synonymous with Covid-19 are cough, fever, difficulty in breathing and cold.

READ ALSO:   Sarah visits Cohen

“The elderly may have different symptoms that include lethargy, diarrhea, confusion, anxiety, unexplained strokes, loss of taste or brain inflammation,” said Amoth.

By Standard.co.ke

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News

VIDEO: We are about to reopen our economy, says President Kenyatta

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This  exclusive interview with Nation Media Group’s Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu aired on NTV Kenya at 7.30pm on Sunday.

“The economic and financial shocks associated with Covid-19 such as disruptions to industrial production and supply chains, falling commodity prices, financial market volatility and rising insecurity have derailed the already tepid economic growth and development,” the President said.

To address the socioeconomic challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, President Kenyatta said the global community needs to focus on the implementation of the United Nations Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Watch the Head of State as he articulates his agenda for the country.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan wife of missing Dutch tycoon detained as questions abound over whether he is dead or alive
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Business

Kenyan scientist Muthoni Masinde created an app that predicts droughts

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An app is combining weather station data with the traditional knowledge of African farmers to predict droughts.

To help prepare farmers for the effects of climate change, Kenyan computer scientist Muthoni Masinde has created mobile platform ITIKI.

The name stands for Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge, and the platform sends farmers drought forecasts via an app or SMS message.

Although it uses meteorological data, Masinde says most African farmers can better relate to the traditional knowledge that is also used to formulate the platform’s predictions.

“I grew up in a [Kenyan] village and I noticed that most farmers do not have any form of science to tell [them] when to plant,” Masinde told CNN Business.

“They watch insects, they watch the behavior of animals and then they make a decision, ‘I think it’ll rain in two weeks’ time.’”

ITIKI employs young people in farming communities to gather photos and updates about animal behavior and local vegetation, such as which trees are flowering.

They capture their findings on the ITIKI app, and ITIKI collates this information with data from local weather stations to model weather patterns months in advance.

Farmers can subscribe to the service for just a few cents, and receive regular updates in their local language, helping them make early decisions about which crops they should grow and whether to sell or save their produce.

READ ALSO:   ‘My business is on the verge of collapse, please give me back my house’ Pleads Sarah Cohen

Economic impact of drought

Many African countries are especially vulnerable to climate change and small-scale farmers in particular, who rely on rainfall for their harvests, could face poverty and food insecurity, according to UN climate experts.

That could have major economic repercussions. Agriculture contributes about 15% to Africa’s total GDP, according to a 2017 UN report, and accounts for around half of the continent’s employment, according to the African Development Bank.

Now a professor at the Central University of Technology Free State, in South Africa, Masinde launched the app in 2016 in Kenya, where agriculture makes up around a third of GDP.

“Investments in climate adaptation solutions, especially targeting small scale farmers, would lead to GDP growth [in Africa],” said Masinde.

She added that African governments tend to react to drought and extreme weather, rather than proactively planning for these events.

“We do not prepare for [drought],” she said. “It’s like we just wake up and discover that people in rural Kenya are starving, that people on one side of the country have no rain.”

Masinde says ITIKI is now used by more than 15,000 farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. Since farmers started using the app their crop yields have increased by an average of 11%, according to Masinde.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: See what Jean Ayako, a US-based Kenyan lady thinks happened to Tob Cohen

ITIKI has received $750,000 in funding from the US and South African governments, which will be used to scale up operations. By the end of this year, Masinde hopes to have signed up over 100,000 farmers to the platform.

BY Citizen

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