Hotel Intercontinental Nairobi

Hotel Intercontinental Nairobi has been ordered to pay a woman Sh3 million for throwing her out of their premises and brandishing her a prostitute.

On March 19 1998 Mrs Winfred Njoki Clarke went to Intercontinental Hotel as a potential customer but was denied service because she was not accompanied by a man.

Enquiring why she was denied service, an employee of the hotel stated in swahili but translated to english as follows “why don’t you go ask your colleagues”.

She told court that the ordinary meaning of the said words was understood to mean she was soliciting and that she was of questionable moral conduct and was a prostitute.

Justice Msagha Mbogholi found that the Nairobi hotel harassed, discriminated, embarrassed her and caused unlawful detention.

“There shall be a judgement for the plaintiff against the two defendant jointly and severally in the sum of Kshs. 3,000,000 plus costs and interest at court rates” Judge Mbogholi ruled.

The court found that Mrs Njoki wife to Terence Jamestowns Leonard Clark reputation was tainted by the treatment of being dragged out of Intercontinental hotel leading to her arrest and unlawful detention at Central Police Station.

The said words were uttered in a presence of other waiters and customers while the author was pointing at two accompanied women at the bar.

Mrs Clark pleaded that she is a respectably married woman and had gone to the hotel for no other reason other than have a drink with her lady friend.

As a result, her reputation was seriously damaged and suffered distress and embarrassed.

She further testified that, the hotel security officers intentionally assaulted her by pulling her out of a taxi she had boarded after she was evicted from the hotel.

The hotel further called and directed police officers to arrest her which was effected and ended up to central police station where she was detained for two days and later released without any charge’s being preferred against her.

Intercontinental hotel and the Attorney General in their defence blamed Mrs Clark for unruly behavior which could have led to a breach of peace if police were not called to intervene.

Mrs Clark told the court she had gone to the hotel at about 6:30 P.M to meet her friend Mary Waithera who had come from England and she was accompanied by another friend called Jane.

On entering the hotel they went to a bar counter and asked for two bottles of beer while holding Kshs. 400 in her hand but was asked for cover charge.

She was told that women who were not residing at the hotel could not be served at the hotel and that women must pay cover charge.