Kenya: Court orders Intercontinental Hotel to compensate woman for discriminatory treatment

Author: Maureen Kaka, Nairobi News (Kenya), Published on: 7 June 2018

"Woman mistaken for a prostitute at Intercontinetal hotel awarded 3 million shillings"

A woman who was thrown out of a city hotel after being mistaken for a prostitute has been awarded Sh3 million shillings as compensation. High Court judge Mbogholi Msagha ordered Intercontinental Hotel to pay Ms Winfred Clarke the said monies as damages for defamation and being put in custody unlawfully, 20 years ago. “The actions of the hotel amounted to great humiliation and embarrassment. She has established entitlement to damages and I hereby make an award of Sh2 million shillings against the hotel and another Sh1 million against the Attorney General,” ruled Justice Msagha. The judge also ordered the hotel and the AG, whom Ms Clarke had sued, to pay for the costs of the suit as well as interest. 

The fateful incident occurred on March 19, 1998 when Ms Clarke went to the said hotel while intending to have a drink with a friend. However she was stopped by a security guard because she was not in the company of a man. Nevertheless, she proceeded to the restaurant and bar section where she ordered for two bottles of beer. She was asked to pay for a ‘cover charge’ which she did not understand and questioned the waiters about it while insisting on paying Sh 400 to settle her bill. She told court that the waiters refused to attend to her and was described as a woman of questionable moral conduct in the presence of other customers. Her attempts to explain that she was a respectably married woman to one Terrence Leonard James Clarke did not bear any fruit as the hotel’s Security staff evicted her out of the premise.

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Related companies: InterContinental Hotels