A Chinese restaurant in Kenya was shut down by the government after its racist policy of refusing to serve Black patrons after 5PM went public. The restaurant was nestled in an affluent neighborhood in the capital city of Nairobi and was under operation despite not following proper protocol.
As reported by Kenya newspaper Daily Nation, the restaurant was in the Kilimani section which rests just west of Central Nairobi. The establishment did not have its liquor, health or change-of-use license as it was once a home before it underwent its transformation. Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero issued a statement on the restaurant’s illegal operation and closing.
More from the Daily Nation:
The governor admitted that city inspectorate officers had failed to ensure compliance, adding that steps would be taken against those who failed at their job.
He added that investigations would be launched on how the restaurant operated without the three crucial documents for three years.
The governor said a thorough inspection would be conducted to ensure that all hotels and restaurants operate with the city laws.
The restaurant’s management had earlier apologised for not admitting black Kenyans after 5pm, saying the move was necessary following a robbery in 2013.
The owners also said they had been “operating legally for many years” treating all customers equally.
The restaurant’s management said it “adopted certain measures” to close its business to Black customs after 5PM due to the “bad memory” of the robbery.
But it doesn’t end there, as reported by Mareeg.com:
“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn’t,” Esther Zhao, a PR manager with the restaurant, told the Nairobi News. “It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun.”
Zhao says the guests of the restaurant feel safer and more comfortable if African customers are kept away. Only taxi drivers and Africans accompanied by European, Chinese or Indian guests can be admitted.
“It is strictly a no-African policy and we have even had to turn away some prominent Kenyans who were obviously not a security threat,” a restaurant worker told the journalists on conditions of anonymity.
While one might understand an establishment’s fears of terrorists, it doesn’t lend itself to such widespread discrimination. The restaurant even excluded Black government officials and would only open its doors to what they call “loyals,” or folks who would spend over 20,000 Kenyan shillings or $217.
Fortunately for Kenyans, the place has been shut down for good and that’s just a little less judgment to worry about.