Nairobi county govt closes 'racist' Chinese restaurant

Restaurant did not have a liquor selling licence, a health licence and a change of use licence.

Tuesday March 24 2015

The Chinese Restaurant in Nairobi that was closed by county authorities on March 24, 2015.

The Chinese Restaurant in Nairobi that was closed by county authorities on March 24, 2015. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAMUEL KARANJA
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A Chinese restaurant with a controversial policy of barring black Kenyans after 5pm has been closed by the Nairobi County government.

The restaurant in Kilimani did not have a liquor licence, a health licence and a change-of-use licence — having been converted from a residential house to a restaurant.

Governor Evans Kidero said though the restaurant management had acquired a licence to run the business, they did not have the other three documents to operate.

“After investigations, we have established that the restaurant did not have the licences and I have ordered it closed until the management complies,” said Dr Kidero while addressing the media in his office.

“I have ordered the inspectorate and the liquor licensing board to close it with immediate effect,” he added.

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.

“Because of the concern of the business environment at night and the bad memory of … 2013, we adopted certain measures. Unfortunately, some of the measures were inappropriate, we sincerely apologise for this,” the management said in a statement.

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