In a drinking joint at the shores of the Indian ocean, 3 suspects met up to seal the fate of Dutch tycoon Herman Rouwenherst. The 3 suspects; Ms. Riziki Cherono, Ms. Mary, and Mr. Timothy Omondi alias Mr. Rashid, had ended their secret meeting that day with a toast after receiving a call that was made from inside the police station.
[Photo courtesy: Mr. Rashid and Ms. Mary.]
What they did not know was that the friend, Ms. Mary had brought along to the meeting would years later turn into a prosecution witness. The witness, currently under witness protection was aware of the murder conspiracy. But, since they were all taking alcohol at the time the murder was plotted; she presumed they were joking due to the intoxication.
However, days later, the Dutchman would turn up dead, with Ms. Cherono arrested, and charged with the double murder of her husband, Herman Rouwenherst, and their night guard, Mr. Evans Bambo Bakolo at Roko Apartments in Shanzu, Mombasa county.
The Fatal Attraction
According to the witness, who testified before Mombasa High Court Judge Ann Onginjo, she used to stay with Ms. Mary.
[Photo courtesy: Ms. Cherono.]
She claims that one particular day, Ms. Cherono visited Ms. Mary. And in the middle of their chit-chat, she overheard them talking about a murder plot.
"I heard Ms. Cherono discussing with Mary how they would take out her Dutch husband claiming that he had threatened to divorce her," says the witness, "and that Mr. Herman hated her family". Moreover, Ms. Cherono complained to her friend that she was not reaping the " fruits" of her marriage. She claimed that her Dutch husband declined to buy her a car; but, had bought himself a boat worth Sh 5 million.
[Photo courtesy: Herman and Riziki Cherono.]
Therefore, Ms. Cherono assigned Ms. Mary to look for someone to murder her foreign husband on her behalf. Ms. Mary surely knew of a certain Mr. Timothy Omondi alias Mr. Rashid, whom she deemed fit to handle the dirty job. After examining her options.
The Murder Conspiracy
However, the murder was officially plotted at a birthday celebration, hosted by Ms. Mary on May 1, 2021, at her residence. This was because the two shared the same birthday date. And Ms. Cherono had been permitted to go out for one night; but, the court statement reveals that she extended her stay by 4 days.
[Photo courtesy: Cherono in court.]
A couple of days later, Ms. Mary asked the witness to accompany her to meet Ms. Cherono at a joint on the shores of the Indian Ocean. They arrived there before Ms. Cherono, and Mr. Rashid and they were later joined by a strange individual. Mr. Rashid, Ms. Cherono, and M..s Mary sat at one table, while the witness and the strange man who had joined them were left alone at a different table.
After a brief conversation, Ms. Cherono and Mr. Rashid left on a motorcycle before returning several hours later. However, Rashid came by himself, and the witness claims, she heard him informing Ms. Mary that he had visited Ms. Cherono's home and had obtained pictures of his interior design. He even boasted to Ms. Mary about how easy the task was, and how he would execute it. Ms. Mary then took her phone and punched in Ms. Cherono's mobile phone number to inform her that Mr. Rashid needed a deposit of Sh 600,000. Before he could start the job.
Days later, Ms. Cherono would do a follow-up on the plot over a phone call with Ms. Mary, and why Mr. Rashid was yet to complete the task as agreed. This prompted Ms.. Mary to call Mr. Rashid's number, and held a brief chatter before getting back to Ms. Cherono. This would go on for a few days before the actual day.
Days Before The Murder
The witness accompanied her friend Ms. Mary to Ms. Cherono's estate, picked up a key, and retreated to their residence. Ms. Mary left her residence the next day at 5 pm saying that she was going to visit her boyfriend in Kilifi. She gave the witness some money to prepare supper for her two kids and left merely to return at 4 am. She then confided in her that they had murdered the Dutch tycoon. Mr. Rashid had completed the job.
[Photo courtesy: The Dutch tycoon's body.]
Rather baffled than scared, the witness promised Ms. Mary, that should she be arrested, she would tell the police everything.
"Ms. Mary paid me Sh 9,000 to settle a debt she owed me, before giving me an extra Sh 5,000 to carer for her two kids", says the witness, "Mr. Rashid also gave me Sh 2,000. On June 5, I left for my rural home bundled with Mary's children".
While there, she received a call from a strange number belonging to Ms. Mary, informing her that she had been arrested. Moreover strictly instructing her to dispose of her phone and SIM card, and to lie if she was ever questioned about the case.
But, not without warning her that she and Rashid would plan for her murder even while behind bars. If she ever ratted them out. The suspects boasted about their wealth and vast connection and said they would bribe their way out of jail.
Ms. Cherono is said to be responsible for orchestrating the murder of her husband Herman Rouwenherst.
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