AFTER 10-YEAR COURT BATTLE

German investor evicted from Sh2 billion Watamu resort

Over 60 police officers raid Temple Point Resort to execute orders issued in 2015

In Summary

Workers claim they were beaten by police officers carrying out the eviction on Saturday evening 

 

A Kenyan businessman has taken over the ownership of a Sh2 billion Watamu resort following the eviction German investors from the property after a 10-year-court battle.

Police stormed Temple Point Resort and evicting staff who were working for previous owner Hans Langer.

The eviction followed a 2015 court order directing that Kenyan investor Isaac Rodrot and his Italian counterpart Stefano Uccelli take over the ownership of the property.

The 60 heavily armed police beat up some staff who attempted to resist the eviction.

Rodrot said he would brief the media after settling down. He said he was happy because justice had been served to him after 10 years.

Those evicted said they were not happy with the manner in which police executed the orders.

Nicholas Kaungu Katana, a former staff Langer staffer who worked as an assistant security officer said police raided the hotel at around 6 pm and forced them to open the gates.

He said they initially declined the open the gates because they thought the officers were terrorists.

"I was the first person to be dragged and beaten before being pushed into a police land cruiser. I sustained injuries," Katana said.

He said Rodrot used to be an employee at the resort and wondered how he came to own the property.

Mohamed Swaleh, a resident of Watamu, said the problem could affect the tourism sector as there was tension.

He wondered why the police were implementing a 2015 court order and ignoring other orders of 2019 and 2020 which were quashing those issued earlier.

Swaleh condemned the police for beating staff.

"We were beaten by the security officers some of them were prison warders who came to execute the orders and assaulted people like dogs," Swaleh said.

Elvis Mwalimu said it was sad that the staff were beaten up by the police.

"As residents, we recognise Langer as the owner of the resort and we wonder why over 60 police officers raided the premises at night and scared visitors while evicting the German investor," Mwalimu said.

He said the eviction, if genuine, ought to have been done during the day.

"We urge our governor, MP, and even county assembly of Kilifi who know the investor well to explain why he is being evicted as they watch."

He said such actions will hurt the tourism sector which is the backbone of the region's economy.

Esther Jumwa said Saturday's eviction was the third to be carried out in Watamu with previous owners of posh resorts being kicked out.

She said the tourism sector employs thousands of locals who depend entirely on the industry for survival.

"Uhuru should listen to the cries of Watamu people. We are suffering and our children are suffering too," Jumwa said.

The eviction was led by Malindi deputy subcounty police commander Simon Muli.

 

edited by peter obuya