- Residents and employees join in the row over the hotel with several getting injured
Residents of Watamu, Malindi, have for the last two weeks been treated to a rare spectacle of business rivalry over the ownership of a top notch tourist hotel in the area.
In the struggle for ownership pitting Kenyan and long-serving hotel manager Isaac Rodrot, who acquired the management of the exclusive resort not so long ago, and a group of German investors, several people were injured when the two groups clashed as one of them tried to evict the other.
The 250-bed capacity Salama Beach Hotel, popularly known as Temple Point Beach Hotel, which is at the centre of the tussle, is estimated to be worth more than Sh200 million.
The ownership saga that has been boiling for two weeks now, erupted again last week when a group presented a court order to get access to the hotel after the other one was ordered by a Malindi court to access the hotel last week.
The first group led by Mr Rodrot and Mr Stefano Uccelli, which was thrown out of the hotel through a court ruling last week, got orders of stay from the High Court in Mombasa and went to the hotel on Monday.
However, it was repulsed by workers and residents who drove them out after accessing the facility.
Anti-riot police officers who had escorted the group to execute the court order were overwhelmed and overcome by the workers and villagers. They left silently back to their Watamu police station.
As soon as word went round that the group had entered the hotel, residents from the neighbouring Dongokunda village grouped and stormed the facility driving the police and the group out. At least three people including a senior manager were injured.