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IG Mutyambai orders arrest of hotel staff filmed dragging manager on tarmac

By Philip Mwakio | May 11th 2021

The Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has ordered the arrest of individuals captured while dragging their manager on the tarmac.

Mutyambai said he had instructed Regional Police Commander-Coast Region to immediately arrest all the perpetrators of the offense and arraign them before the court.

“Nobody is above the law and such acts of impunity will be met with the full force of the law,” Mutyambai said.

The Standard has established that the said individuals are employees of the Kaskazi Beach Hotel in Kwale's Diani town.

It is said they dragged their General Manager Chris Indeche.

The incident sparked social media outrage.

Indeche told The Standard that the over 40 workers accosted him on May 6, 2021, while having breakfast at one of the hotels demanding their pay before they started to manhandle him.

He said, "Some employees suddenly appeared at my table and surrounded me. They were demanding their salaries and I informed them that the hotel owners had assured me they would pay them once funds are available but they did not listen."

According to him, hotel occupancy has been low for months due to the impact of Covid-19.

“Covid-19 has really affected us and even myself I have not received my pay,” he said. 

Chris Indeche was captured in a video clip that went viral being dragged out of the Kaskazi Beach Hotel, South Coast Diani.[Philip Mwakio, Standard]

"They could hear none of my words and proceeded to eject me from my table. Some went for my neck as others ransacked my pockets and took away Sh25,000 and my iPhone 8,” Indeche lamented.

He said the employees even had the audacity to access his hotel room and threw out his personal belongings.

Indeche said he reported the assault to Diani Police Station at the Tourist Police unit desk and was issued with a police abstract slip.

The hotel manager said only one of the people he positively identified as his attackers was briefly arrested but later released under unclear circumstances.

In the video clip, Indeche is seen being dragged on the tarmac road leading into and out of the hotel with some men holding his arms and legs.

Following the incident, the National Association of Hotel Professionals- Kenya (AHPK) condemned the acts by the hotel staff on their GM adding that the action was a heinous one and a very primitive way to handle disputes arising out of unpaid wages and salaries.

Robert Kinyua lauded the Inspector General of Police for moving in to order the arrest of those behind the acts.

''The industry has adequate mechanisms to address any form of grievances that may occur within hotel establishments and none of them advocates for violence against any individual,'' Kinyua who is Managing Director of Clarion Hotels (Nairobi) said.

 He said that as a lobby association, they have instituted private investigations into the incident.

On their part, the Kenya Coast Tourist Association (KCTA) through its Chief Executive Officer, Julius Owino called on police to get to the root cause of the matter and ensure that all those who had a hand in the unfortunate incident face the law.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch Executive Officer Sam Ikwaye while denouncing the actions as old-fashioned and barbaric said things are tough everywhere.

“If what they did goes unpunished, it will deteriorate to disorder and affect the harmony associated with the hospitality service sector,” Ikwaye said.



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