A Chinese restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya, was forced to shut down after Kenyans online protested against its controversial decision to not serve Africans after 5 p.m. on grounds that they could be robbers. The restaurant said it was robbed by Africans in 2013.
The Chongquing Chinese Restaurant, located in an affluent Kilimani area of Nairobi, said it was only allowing non-African customers. African patrons would only be allowed if they were accompanied by Chinese, Indian or European patrons.
Outrage by Kenyans on Twitter (#KOT) attracted the attention of local authorities to the issue who send inspectors to the restaurant only to find that it did not have the required licenses to operate in the city. It was subsequently shut down on ground that it didn’t having the necessary permits.
“We have established that the restaurant did not have the licenses and I have ordered it closed until the management complies,” Nairobi’s Governor Evans Kidero said in a statement.
“All business and service providers must ensure that all customers and clients are treated with respect and dignity; irrespective or race, color, sex, tribe and religion,” he added.
Local newspapers reported that the Chinese restaurant was only allowing ‘loyal and worthy Africans’, who could spend over 20,000 Kenyan shillings ($217) at the premises.
When asked by reporters from the Daily Nation why they did not allow Africans into the restaurant in the evenings, Esther Zhao, the relations manager at the Chongquing Chinese Restaurant said they don’t admit Africans that they don’t know because “you never know who is Al Shabab and who isn’t.”
“It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun,” she added.
Al Qaeda-linked Somali Islamic militant group Al Shabab has stage several attack in Kenya since the country’s military joined the African Union forces in Somalia to restore peace in the war-torn neighboring country in 2011.
Al Shabab masterminded an attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed over 70 people in 2013.