Kilifi,Kenya: Attempts by police in Malindi to enforce a ruling by the High Court to reverse the ownership of a hotel in Watamu were thwarted when it was realised one of the parties has filed an appeal.
Police officers from Watamu Police Station led by Deputy OCS Joseph Omanyalla had on Monday accompanied Stefano Uceli, a director of Salama Beach Hotel Ltd, to the hotel to effect the judgement but they were denied entry.
The luxurious Salama Beach Hotel is valued at Sh1 billion.
There was drama when Mr Uceli was barred from entering the hotel, where he wanted to do what he called a routine stock-taking to ascertain the status of the star-rated tourist hotel after the ruling by Justice Said Chitembwe.
On Thursday last week, Justice Chitembwe restored the hotel to Isaac Rodrot after a protracted legal battle with German Hans Jurgen Langer and his wife Zahra Langer that lasted five years. Mr Langer is the managing director of Temple Point Resort.
"I had been instructed by Mr Rodrot, the owner of the premises, to conduct an on-spot check on the status of the premises since we have been away for five years," Ucelli said outside the hotel on Monday.
Rodrot had gone to court to challenge the validity and admissibility of a judgement entered in Italy and which was allegedly used to deprive him of the property.
But in a statement to The Standard yesterday, Mr Langer said that he had appealed Thursday's court ruling.
"We made a stay of the orders and have now 14 days of appeal. The appeal was made," Langer said.
He criticised Thursday's judgement and alleged it was made outside Kenyan law. He claimed the judgement will tarnish Kenya's reputation internationally.
"Investors will know that Kenya is not a safe haven for investors," he claimed and declared it was wrong to allow Rodrot and Uceli custody of the hotel as they have never been directors of the premis