- She said Sh5 million can help her reconstruct so as to begin afresh as she has been left with nothing.
- Reinhard said the facility had been rented out by a Polish investor who was running it until the fire incident.
Hoteliers in the Coastal resort town of Watamu have called on the National government to help restore their investments after a fired razed them last week.
A Kenyan woman who owns one of the four multi-million shilling Watamu resorts that burnt down in a fire tragedy last week, has made a passionate appeal to the government to help her reconstruct the hotel.
Joice Jepleting Reinhard who visited the hotel for the first time since the fire broke down into tears upon seeing the razed property as all what she knew as investment had been reduced to ashes.
She said Sh5 million can help her reconstruct so as to begin afresh as she has been left with nothing.
Reinhard said the facility had been rented out by a Polish investor who was running it until the fire incident.
Journalists who accompanied Reinhard to the razed hotel came face to face with the reality of the loss.
She could not hold back tears upon seeing the loss of the property which she said has had legal battle from 2012 up to 2019 when the court gave her justice.
“I received a phone call while at home and I was really affected. When I was told my hotel had burnt, I could not talk to the caller, I cried, got shock and had to be taken to hospital,” she said.
Reihard said legal battles have drained her money completely and even after the court granted her the property, Covid-19 pandemic hit the country and there was no business.
She said her life has been full of sorrow because some Italians were claiming ownership of the property which she legally inherited and moved up to Court of Appeal, lost the case then moved to the Lands and Environment Court.
“This week on Monday I was in court the cases are still going on I appeal humbly to Mr President, everyone, the government of Kenya to help me because I have suffered for long, court cases and now the fire tragedy,” she said.
Reingard said she depended on the hotel to educate her children and her survival but the cases have been so many and now the fire had really hit her hard.
Renson Sulubu a security guard of Sentry response company who was present on the day the fire happened said the fire started from the roof of the hotel. He said he was notified by a boda boda operator who was passing by.
He said all staff and tourists inside were not aware and had it not been for the notification lives would have been lost.
“It was around mid-day and we were open, a boda boda operator came and notified me there was fire at the roof of the reception, I rushed and alerted colleagues, who together we took fire extinguishers but could not reach the top,” he said.
Sulubu said they had to rush and evacuate guests by cutting through a fence, adding that they did not manage to save anything though there was massive looting of property and cash.
He said they have been having challenges of electricity for so long and the investor had complained several times to Kenya Power in vain.
The guard said he suspected an electric fault could have caused the fire as there was nothing else they could think of.
Moses Rop who has the power of attorney of the property said since 2012 they have been having court cases until 2019 when Reinhard was granted the property.
He said the woman has suffered for many years as she has not settled as each time the cases are going on and even the one who rented the facility had issues with paying rent.
“I appeal to well-wishers, donors and all people of good will to come and help this woman she is really in a bad state,” he said.
Last week, tourism CS Peninah Malonza visited the scene of the fire and promised to help the investors rebuild their facilities.
She gave cash to the local curio sellers whose kiosks had burnt to help rebuild them as they had lost everything.
Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro said the county has little money where investors can borrow to begin rebuilding the facilities.
-Edited by SKanyara