Tourism Cabinet Secretary Dr Alfred Mutua has spoken out after goons attacked Pinewood Beach Resort in Diani, Kwale County.
In a statement on Monday, November 27, 2023, Mutua promised that the government would take action against the perpetrators.
“I have noted with concern the violence at Pinewood Beach Resort by hired goons. This behaviour by receivers and auctioneers against hotels and restaurants will not be tolerated. Stern action is being taken. Upholding of the law and civility are key to encourage and not deter visitors,” Mutua stated.
This comes days after unidentified goons tried to break into the hotel, causing injuries to several persons.
Pinewood hotel owner speaks
In a statement on Sunday, the hotel owner and Managing Director Alnoor Kanji accused a receiver-manager of a local bank of being behind the violent attack.
He said the attack has scared guests who are holidaying in the facility, which is the second incident in the recent past.
"Without the protection of armed police and the courage of our staff, this may not have been the case. Tourist police had to intervene with gunfire while our staff were forced to fight the attackers head-on," Kanji said.
“We fear that despite attaining a clear court injunction to prevent any party from taking over, they will continue to unlawfully and forcefully gain possession.”
Currently, the hotel is fighting a takeover bid by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) over a bad debt. The hotel has managed to obtain an injunction order against the lender until a case in court is heard and determined
A mention date was set for January 9, 2024.
Kanji wants the KCB receiver manager to be probed for allegedly “organizing the attack”.
“What they have done is illegal, criminal and with no regard for human life let alone the reputation of Kenya,” Kanji added.
The tussle hovers around a Ksh5 billion loan for constructing a luxurious property in Mombasa associated with the Kanji family.