Tourism stakeholders urge CS Kindiki to Intervene After Pinewood Beach Resort Attack » Capital News

KAWLE, Kenya, Nov 29 – Tourism stakeholders within the Coastal region have joined the growing calls for arrest and prosecution of suspects who attacked the luxurious Pinewood Beach Resort in Diani, Kwale County.

More than a week after the incident happened, none of the suspects captured in the hotels CCTV cameras have been arraigned in court, for a brutal daylight attack that left many injured, and property destroyed.

In a show of solidarity, the stakeholders under the auspices of Kenya Coast Tourist Association on Wednesday termed the incident linked to an attempted takeover of the hotel as primitive and barbaric.

Addressing journalists during a press conference at the hotel premises, the Association Chief Executive Officer Julius Owino said the tourism sector is fragile, and must be treated with a lot of caution.

“This is the third time the staff of this hotel have been attacked in broad daylight . We are cognizant of commercial disputes between the parties however we can not allow hooliganism and lawlessness to be a way of solving commercial disputes in this industry. Such actions dents the very destination we invest heavily to showcase and market,” Owino asserted.

The sector is yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that almost crippled it, due to strict movement restrictions imposed across the world.

The stakeholders have called on Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to intervene, so that the suspects and those behind the attack are apprehended and charged in court.

“While we appreciate the tourists police for their response during the attack ,we wish to also convey our disappointment with local security apparatus, we expected the local security to have intelligence of impending attack or even respond , not even local senior security leadership nor local police responded in time when the staff and guest were attacked and clobbered, no arrest has been made since then. It really raises serious concern,” he said..

Similar calls for justice were made by locals living around the hotel- which has been a source of living for many.

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“We can’t afford to lose all these jobs. We want the government to ensure the incidents are arrested,” one of the residents said.

An intended takeover of the hotel by the Kenya Commercial Bank was stopped through court order, pending hearing and determination of a suit challenging the move.

Mombasa High Court set January 9 as the mention date for the case.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Dr Alfred Mutua has since condemned the incident and called for a stern action against the perpetrators.

“Consequently a hotel that was full is now struggling at a time when the tourism business is at its peak , some staff are still nursing injuries with the majority traumatized. The staff are locals here and attacking them is an attack on the local community and the livelihoods,” Owino said.

During the attack, the hotel was hosting 60 tourists from the United Kingdom.

“We are a county governed by law, we must therefore not allow such anarchy to prevail, worse is within the delicate hospitality sector,” the stakeholders said.

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