Zanzibar- based Warere Beach Hotel has broken its silence following allegations of sexual assault made by a Nigerian woman on Saturday.
Zainab Oladehinde claims she was sexually harassed at the hotel while vacationing on the Tanzanian island in April 2021.
In a statement on Sunday morning, the management of the hotel denied claims of negligence insisting that the facility offered the woman necessary support when she reported the matter.
“We tried our best to support Ms Zainab Oladehinde as soon as we learned of the accusations. We immediately brought her to the police and offered her support. The case was brought before Government authorities in April 2021 when it occurred. The police report indicated that this was a personal case, and not negligence on the part of the Warere,” the hotel said in a Facebook post.
The hotel further said the victim had declined to pursue the matter further.
“After passing by the Zanzibar Nungwi police, the District Commissioners Office, the Regional Commissioners Office and the office of the Second Vice President of the govt of Zanzibar, Ms. Zainab declined to take the case further.
“Ms Zainab Oladehinde was informed that the hotel would abide by damages rewarded by the court system of Zanzibar. We will continue to serve our guests from all corners of the world with the same level of hospitality and excellence that we have become known for throughout Zanzibar over the past six years,” the management added.
Zainab’s story went viral on Twitter on Saturday causing an uproar from a section of social media users with many leaving negative reviews on the hotel’s Google profile.
The hotel says it received more than 4,000 negative reviews in just three hours. At the same time, the hotel also claims that its website was also taken over by hackers.
“Our Warere website was hacked, today 16 April 2022. Simultaneously, we were inundated by a massive release of defamatory reviews and messages through many different social media platforms regarding accusations of sexual assault at our property. Within 3 hours we received over 4,000 negative reviews on Google from people who had never stayed at our hotel,” the hotel said.
“As a woman-owned and operated business, the Warere takes guest safety and the safety of single women travelers extremely seriously, as evidenced by 6 years of verified positive reviews from women all over the world.”
In a tweet thread, Zainab, who traveled to Tanzania alone to celebrate her 23rd birthday, had claimed that she was attacked in her hotel room by a man who wanted to force himself on her.
“At around 12am, a few friends and family called to wish me a happy birthday and then I went back to my room to sleep. A few hours into my sleep, I started to feel a strange hand touching my breast.“ Now, this was me sleeping naked on my bed in my hotel room with my doors locked so this was definitely a dream”. I told myself and went back to sleep.
“Some few minutes afterward, I started to feel my hands stroking someone’s pe***. At this moment, I opened my eyes to confirm if It was actually a dream or I was in real danger.”
She had to lie that she had HIV/AIDs and only got the man to leave the room after asking him to go get condoms.
“So I continued begging him and telling him I’d allow him to have sex with me but he’d need to go get a condom so as not to get HIV. I saw that he reacted to the word “HIV” so I kept on saying HIV whilst crying profusely at this point,” Zainab tweeted.
“As I struggled to not let him strangle me, he left the room and told me he’d be back with a condom. Immediately he left, I switched on the light, tried to call hotel reception but to my surprise, there were no intercom or phone lines to reach the hotel reception through the room.”
She sneaked out of the room and spent the night in a Russian couple’s room.
The next morning, she went back to her room and found her cash USD 1, 100 missing from her bag.
A distressed Zainab said she reported the matter to a local police station but the officers at the station just harassed and bullied her instead of offering her help.