Somaliland: Crown Hotel to Sue Somtel for Absconding 300 Persons Lunch Booking Plus Damages


Crown Hotel Staff cater the food at the Mental HospitalLuncheon meant for Sportsmen donated to the Mentally Ill and IDP’s after invitees fail to appear.

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Patients at the Hargeisa Mental Hospital and State House IDP camp residents partook to a kingly meal courtesy of the Crown Hotel Management.

The $10 meal a plate good fortune befell the patients and Internally displaced persons-IDP’s after 300 guests hosted by Somtel Telecommunicate Hargeisa based hotel as per agreed between 12.30 to 1.30 pm on Monday .

Osman Hindi Crown Hotel owner“We were forced to donate the luncheon to the Hargeisa hospital for the mentally ill and state house IDP camp around 2pm after the intended guests failed to appear” said Osman Hindi the hotel’s proprietor.

According to the Crown hotel proprietor arrangements which were entered on upon by the hotel and officials from Somtel were put to gear in the early morning with purchase of various items as per the order and staff embarking on preparations.

“The entire staff worked extra hard thus ensure the country’s sports cream who had just completed competition at the national sports championships were given the best service possible”

Working tirelessly and having closed the door to its usual lunch customers the hotel management and staff started fidgeting at 12.30 pm when not a member of the host company of Somtel had contacted or visited the hotel to inquire on progress.

“On contacting the senior Somtel officer who had made the arrangements only for him to inform me that he was in Berbera on business”

Armed with this turn of events Mr. Hindi was surprised after contacting another senior Somtel official who informed him that he was busy at a function the company was hosting for sportsmen at the Mansoor hotel.

“With confirmation that the sumptuous luncheon was not to be eaten by the intendedCrown Hotel Dinning room ready for guests persons the hotel management decided to donate it to patients at the city’s mental Hospital and IDP camp because it would have gone to waste” Said Mr. Hindi

After distributing the food the now irate crown management decided to follow up the issue with Somtel who informed that the change of venue was as due to security fears of the youth and sports minister.

“Somtel told me that the change of venue from Crown to Mansoor hotel emanated from the Sports minister who offered to pay the cost difference” said the crown operator.

Mr. Hindi says he now wants Somtel to pay not only for its failure to fulfill its contractual arrangements but other damages including loss of hotel credibility.

“If Somtel had informed us of the change of plans in time we would not be in the position we find ourselves” added Osman Hindi

The Crown owner who says he is in good terms with Somtel company at both a personal and professional level and thus sympathetic to the intrusion of the Telecommunication giants affairs by a government minister intent on gaining mileage by politicizing commercial activities is open to negotiations.

In this context the Hotel management is willing to defer legal charges if at the onset Somtel apologizes for its conduct and agrees to out of court negotiations as per the best route of solving the impasse.

“As for the minister of youth and sports Mr. Ali Saeed Raygal a public apology is the only remedy and nothing else”

The Crown hotel management says they are mostly aggrieved by the minister’s insinuations that the Crown hotel smack within the center of the capital city of Somaliland is insecure for him while not an incident of terrorism has ever occurred within its compound.

They are also incensed at the attachment of the hotel to insecurity by a senior official of the government, none the less a minister, of the very administration that is mandated with citizens protection.

Contact with the sports minister initiated by the hotel proprietor ended in a deadlock as the minister says he was not involved in the choice of venue and neither did he term the Crown hotel an insecure place unworthy of hosting such a meeting.

Although Somalilandsun could not access Somtel officials directly, it is privy to third party discussion s with a senior official who apart from informing that Crown Hotel was the company’s preferred venue of the luncheon also revealed that the change to Mansoor hotel was at the behest of the sports minister.

Hospital staff and visitors help with food distributionWhile all are free to choose where to dine or host guests the big question is why the Crown hotel management wasn’t informed in time and who will bear the cost of luncheon which was feasted on by the neediest?

At the same the nomadic way of making deals in the country makes it difficult for Crown hotel to present documentary proof of the deal with Somtel though again the nomadic way, read handshake, manner shall prevail as usual.

According to one of the coaches invited the purpose of the meeting at Crown later changed to /Mansoor hotel was to facilitate the awarding of the Dahabshil/Somtel company donated car meant for the top goal scorer in the football championship at the just concluded National sports Tournament held in Hargeisa from 2nd to 21st June with 13 regions competing.

The brand new crown vehicle plate # SL 49597 which has remained at the hands of the company three days after the tournament came to an end was submitted to the ministry of sports during the Mansoor hotel meet, thus the ministry’s decision on ultimate winner since three players each with 4 goals are in contention.