Lodge Safety Under Scrutiny: Keekorok Lodge’s Hefty Penalty

Keekorok Lodge
  • Keekorok Lodge’s Reputation Damaged by Fatal Incident

A Narok court has fined a tourist lodge Sh553m as compensation to a Chinese family for the murder of a woman who was stabbed to death at the facility in 2016.

The High Court sitting in Narok ordered Keekorok Lodge to pay the colossal amount to the family of Luo Jinli, a Chinese tourist who was stabbed to death at the facility.

Jinli 45, had checked into the hotel on the fateful day accompanied by her husband and son and other family members on August 8, 2016. They were to stay at the lodge for 10 days.

The court heard that on the fateful day, Jinli and her family arrived at the lodge at around 3pm from a game drive in the Maasai Mara and were welcomed by their tour guide, Bai Jiang.

Later that evening, Jinli, her husband Jong Yi and the rest of the family proceeded to the hotel’s restaurant for dinner and were shown their table by their tour guide, Jiang.

Serve dinner

Jong Yi would tell the court how he ushered his wife to the dinner table, which had their names and proceeded to serve dinner, only to hear a loud altercation emanating from the direction of their dinner table.

The altercation, Jong Yi stated, was between his wife and a stranger, also of Chinese descent.

The two, Jong Yi told the court were arguing in Chinese language.

“I heard a commotion towards where my wife was and I saw her exchanging words with a man whom I did not recognize, although I came to know him later as Lee Changpin,” stated Jong Yi.

The dispute, according to Jong Yi, was over the table, with Changpin insisting that it was reserved for his guests.

Jinli on the other hand stood her ground, maintaining that the table had been booked for her family by their tour guide, Jiang.

As the argument degenerated into insults, Changpin sprinted away, grabbed a steak knife which he concealed behind his back and returned to the table to confront Jinli for the second time, the court was told.

Stabbed in abdomen

It is at this juncture that Changpin attacked the couple, stabbing Jinli in the abdomen and Jong Yi, who tried to intervene to rescue his wife, on the arms.

At this juncture, other guests in the restaurant rushed to the couple’s rescue and rushed Jinli who was seriously wounded into a waiting vehicle and drove her to a nearby dispensary.

Jinli was however pronounced dead on arrival while Jong Yi was airlifted to the Nairobi hospital, the court was told.

Jong Yi would later file a suit against the hotel, through lawyer Nectar Maloba for failing to guarantee the security of its guests.

The lawyer cited the absence of any security officials at the restaurant during the attack. He sought for general damages for the loss of a dependent among other reliefs.

The hotel on its part absolved itself from any wrongdoing saying that the couple failed to report the attack in good time.

In his judgment, Justice Francis Gikonyo dismissed the hotel’s defence, saying it was “one hundred percent liable” and ordered it to pay the deceased’s family a total of Sh553,274,960.

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