Economy

Cohen sister wants widow to drop family name in lawsuit

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Ms Sarah Wairimu Kamotho during an October 2019 court appearance in Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • A property dispute pitting the siblings of murdered tycoon Tob Cohen and his wife Sarah Wairimu has taken a new twist after the family of the late Dutch filed an application to stop his estranged wife from using the name, Cohen.
  • Ms Cohen’s sister Gabriel Hannah Van Straten says in the latest application that Ms Wairimu never adopted the name Cohen, even when they lived as a couple with her late brother.

A property dispute pitting the siblings of murdered tycoon Tob Cohen and his wife Sarah Wairimu has taken a new twist after the family of the late Dutch filed an application to stop his estranged wife from using the name, Cohen.

Ms Cohen’s sister Gabriel Hannah Van Straten says in the latest application that Ms Wairimu never adopted the name Cohen, even when they lived as a couple with her late brother.

She says although Cohen married Sarah on May 30, 2007, she never by way of a deed poll, opted to change her name by adopting Cohen’s surname.

Ms Wairimu and siblings of the late tycoon are fighting over the properties Cohen left behind including a Sh500 million home in Nairobi, shares at Tobs Ltd, Cohen Tours and Sh150 million cash in local and international banks. She has contested the will left behind by Cohen saying it is fake and argues that she is entitled to half of the matrimonial home and a Porsche, which the police are holding.

In the will read on April 30, 2019, Cohen distributed the property to Gabriel and her children, Seth Van Straten and Sharon Van Tienhoven Cohen in the ratio of 50 percent, 25 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

In December, Justice Mgure Thande stopped Gabriel and her brother Bernard (the executor) from implementing the will, pending a petition filed by Ms Wairimu.

The family now wants the court to strike out the petitions she has filed, arguing that it has been filed by a fictitious person using the name Sarah Wairimu Kamotho Cohen.

“In the alternative to prayer 2 above, this honourable court be pleased to strike out the name ‘Cohen’ wherever it appears in the pleadings filed by first respondent as far and to the extent that the name is used to make reference to the first respondent (Ms Wairimu),” Gabriel says in an affidavit.