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A managing director of a tour company says he was discriminated at Baobab beach resort 9 years ago

by Robert Guyana

A managing director of a tour company has informed the court how he was denied entry Baobab beach resort and spa limited 9 years ago over racial discrimination.

Dancun Muriuki while testifying in the case he has filed against the hotel said that upon the arrival of the main gate of the hotel despite fully identifying himself at the gate, he together with his driver were denied entry and obstructed from gaining entry to the resort by the guard.

“The guards manning the gate informed us that they were under strict instructions not to allow small two operators access to the hotel,” added Muriuki.

He added that they remained at the gate for a considerable period of time during which they observed that guards manning the gate were allowing a person’s access into the hotel in a selective and discriminatory manner, on the grounds of race, color, birth and social origin.

The witness added that on February 9, 2012 he returned to the hotel in company of a driver and two white guests, they were allowed access to the same hotel.

“I believe on the two incidences on February 7 and 9 taken in isolation of each other and jointly, I really believe that the respondent allows the policy of discrimination on race, color and social origin in its operation, “added Muriuki.

Muriuki told Judge Anthony Mrima that he opened facebook group entitled name and shame and say no to all discrimination.

While giving his evidence in chief, Muriuki added that the tourist had come all the way from Europe to Promote tourism.

 “I remained outside the gate for more than 25 minutes. I didn’t want my clients to worry. They opened the gate for other cars. I stood there and asked for the general manager’s number, but they declined. I called several people,“he added.

The aggrieved man said that he spoke to the receptionist. They told me to send an email but with guards it was a very cordial conversation only their vehicle was not allowed to get in.

He added that his vehicle had stickers. “I got desperate. I called my clients to go to the reception and talked to the receptionist,” he added.

In the case, Duncan Muriuki, who is the owner of Destination Africa DMC Ltd, has sued Baobab Beach Resort & Spa Ltd based in Diani, Kwale, for alleged discrimination. He has accused the resort of discrimination and of barring him from accessing the hotel.

The case had been scheduled for hearing before High Court judge Antony Mrima but it could not proceed since the witnesses from the hotel who had been listed to testify in the case were not present, forcing the judge to adjourn until Tuesday.

Lawyer Wilfred Nderitu, representing Muriuki, said he was ready to proceed with the case without further delay. He told the court that the case has been pending since 2013.

Muriuki, who has been in and out of court since 2013 seeking justice in the case, says he believes the case is of great public interest.

In his court papers, Muriuki claims that on February 7, 2012 at about 7am, he visited the resort to pick up guests when he was denied entry.

He said security personnel denied him entry to the hotel precincts due to the management’s policy to exclude small tour operators.

In August, the judge had dismissed the application by the resort seeking to bar the media from covering proceedings in the case.

 Mrima had said that the case against the defendant is of public interest and that the application to bar the media from covering the case has no merit and is ill intended.

“I hereby dismiss it and allow the media to cover the proceedings in open court,” said the judge.

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