Royal-Suites-Hotel-bugolobi, where Opio died from.

Relatives of a woman who was burnt to death over four years ago at Royal Suites, a plush hotel in the leafy Bugolobi suburb, have cried foul over the way the proprietor of the facility is treating them.

Family sources said the proprietor Mathias Malanda Kizza had reneged on mutually-agreed-to promises of compensation, following the death of Harriet Christine Apio at his hotel in May 27, 2012.

“We have been trying to talk to this man but he is elusive, even the promises he has made for compensation are not forthcoming and he has resorted to threatening us,” the relative, who spoke to the EagleOnline on condition of anonymity, said.

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Ms Apio had been hosted at the hotel by a German expatriate friend, Dr. Christoph Larsen, when a gas cylinder exploded, burning both of them and one hotel worker, Patrick Obbo. Unfortunately the woman died on June 7, 2012 while undergoing treatment at the Kampala International Hospital, while Dr. Larsen and Mr Obbo were later treated for severe burns in Nairobi and Kampala International Hospital, respectively.

In his submission Dr. Larsen said the hotel staff was not knowledgeable about firefighting and that the hotel’s firefighting equipment was not operational.

Since then Apio’s family, Dr. Larsen and Kizza are embroiled in a tripartite battle that has also drawn in the hotel’s insurers, AIG insurance company. The police also carried out investigations and made a report about the fire, citing the burns suffered by the three people.

However, when the EagleOnline went to the hotel in Bugolobi to see Mr Kizza and get his side of the story, he was adamant, telling his Secretary not to allow us in.

“I have no time to meet them; let them go and write,” he was overheard telling his Secretary.


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