Investors blocked from taking over their hotel in Watamu

Friday January 12 2018

Temple Point Resort

Police officers outside the gate of Temple Point Resort in Watamu, Kilifi County, where they had escorted a Kenyan investor, Isaac Rodrot, and his Italian counterpart Stefano Uccelli to take over the resort. PHOTO | CHARLES LWANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By CHARLES LWANGA
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A Kenyan and an Italian investor were on Wednesday blocked from accessing their hotel in Watamu while attempting to execute a court order claiming it allowed them to take over the property.

The Temple Point Resort management, staff and some members of the community barricaded its main gate to prevent Mr Isaac Rodrot and Mr Stefano Uccelli from accessing the disputed property.

A German investor, Mr Hans Jurgen Langer, who is currently operating the resort, accused Mr Rodrot and Mr Uccelli of misinterpreting and executing a wrong court order.

Speaking to journalists at the resort, Mr Langer said the court did not give a precise judgment and nobody should enter the hotel.

“The court needs to sort out the issue on who is the real shareholder in the hotel,’’ he added.

DEFRAUD THE GERMAN

Following a Court of Appeal decision last December, Mr Rodrot and Mr Uccelli sought another order from a magistrate’s court to fully effect the Court of Appeal orders using Watamu police officers.

Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi once dragged Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko into the eight-year case, accusing the governor of conspiring to defraud the German couple of the luxurious hotel valued at about Sh1 billion.

On Wednesday, residents ganged up with the resort’s staff and management to barricade the main gate to prevent Mr Rodrot, Mr Uccelli and police officers led by Malindi OCPD Matawa Muchangi from accessing it.

“This is not Salama Beach but Temple Point Beach! Langer is the real owner of the hotel! We do not recognise Rodrot!” They shouted.

ARMED

Trouble began when Mr Langer received information that their rivals were going to officially take over the hotel while accompanied by armed police officers.

All the staff members, a section of community members and elders from Watamu armed themselves with rungus, stones, and bows and arrows to keep guard at the entrance of the hotel.

At some point, Mr Muchangi asked the operations manager, Mr Mumba Ngundi, to order the workers out of the gate but he declined, saying the issue must be sorted out by lawyers of both parties.

Earlier, police officers together with both parties had spent about eight hours at Watamu police station trying to agree on the matter after the current management claimed Mr Rodrot and Mr Uccelli did not have orders to take over the hotel.

At the hotel, Watamu elders said they fully supported the German investor.