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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 12:18 GMT
Kenyan hotel staff unpaid
Staff outside the Paradise Hotel
The attack left hotel workers jobless
Former staff at Kenya's Paradise Hotel, which was blown up last week, complain that they have not been paid.

Nine of their colleagues were killed in the suicide attack on the Israeli-owned hotel near the coastal resort of Mombasa.


We depended on tips from the guests which was not enough

Josephine Mbuli Hairdresser

The hotel was completely destroyed by the attack, leaving the staff jobless.

Israeli manager Yehuda Sulami said he was not sure if the hotel would be rebuilt because "terrorist" attacks were not covered in the insurance policy.

He tried to calm tempers during a demonstration and promised they would be paid soon.

Open in new window : Mombasa voices
Kenyans react to terror attacks
Reuters news agency reports that staff booed him as he spoke.

Some claimed they had received just 2,000 Kenyan shillings ($25) for a year's work at the Paradise.

They say the managers repeatedly promised to pay them, but the promises were never kept.

"We depended on tips from the guests which was not enough," said Josephine Mbuli, 23, who worked as a hairdresser for three years to support her eight siblings and mother.

Promises

"There's no question that November salaries have not been paid," Mr Sulami told reporters.

"Some we also have to pay for September. But there's no question their salaries will be paid as soon as possible."

Former receptionist, Jane, with a burned arm in Mombasa hospital
Some former staff have been treated in Israel

He said that the hotel management was paying for the medical treatment for staff and had even taken some to hospitals in Israel.

The families of those killed would be helped, Mr Sulami said.

But Paradise Hotel staff say they are used to hearing promises.

Human resources manager Valentina Sapaya, who had only been working there for a few months, said many people had told her that their wages had not been paid, despite repeated management pledges.

"They are very patient," she said. "They were hoping to get paid any time. The owner kept on promising, then they were living in hope."

The BBC's Gray Phombeah says that Paradise Hotel was the only Israeli-owned hotel in the Mombasa area.

Evacuation

Thirteen people have been arrested in connection with the attacks, which US President George Bush has blamed on the al-Qaeda network.

Shortly after the attack on the hotel, missiles narrowly missed an Israeli passenger plane as it took off from Mombasa airport.

In Nairobi, the British High Commission in Kenya has evacuated its staff from its building in Nairobi after a threat was received.

Spokesman Mark Norton would not elaborate on the nature of the threat but he said it was specific and was being treated seriously.

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The BBC's Matt Prodger
"British officials will only say there has been a specific threat"

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03 Dec 02 | Africa
03 Dec 02 | Media reports
02 Dec 02 | Africa
02 Dec 02 | Africa
29 Nov 02 | Africa
30 Nov 02 | South Asia
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