NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – The High Court has ordered a hotel in the South Coast that has been sued by a tour firm owner to retract malicious words posted on Facebook about him following his complaints over alleged racial discrimination.
High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi has ordered the Baobab Resort in Mombasa to comply with the order before it can seek further redress from the court.
The judge declined to give the hotel an opportunity to lift the order restraining the institution from publishing anything against Duncan Muriuki until the case is heard and determined.
Justice Ngugi said: “It seems there has been no obedience of the court order, the first duty is to obey the order and apply to set it aside. It is not for a party to decide whether or not to obey the order.”
The resort through its advocate wanted the court to vary the order arguing that it is unfair because it is expressed as a final directive.
“The order expressed is like a final order and this is unfair. Until you have heard us I would ask the order to be stayed,” submitted Bill Inamdar.
Inamdar explained to the court that the hotel’s sentiments on Facebook were in response to a campaign by Muriuki dubbed ‘name and shame any discrimination of any form.’
But Muriuki through his advocate urged the court to make an appropriate order with a view to preserving its dignity.
Muriuki is seeking compensation over alleged racial discrimination. He had moved to court saying he was subjected to prejudice by employees of the said hotel by being denied entry into the facility.
Muriuki, who runs a tour company, said his troubles began when he visited the premises of the resort on February 7, 2012 in the company of his driver, James ole Nairuko and a business associate, Kores Solomon ole Musuni, to pick his clients.
The clients, he said, were to be transferred from Baobab to another local hotel where they had been booked in for two nights. On arrival at Baobab he said they were asked to identify themselves and indicate the purpose of their visit. He obliged and identified himself and his colleagues.
However despite the unequivocal identification they were denied entry by the guards.
The guards attributed the denial of entry to a management policy of the resort.
Muriuki now says as a direct consequence of the resort management’s discriminatory policy, his fundamental right and that of his driver and of his business associate to equal treatment and freedom from direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, birth and/or ethnic or social origin were violated.