Kenya Closes Chinese Restaurant That Reportedly Banned Africans


Officials in Nairobi, Kenya have closed a Chinese restaurant that reportedly banned African patrons after 5 p.m., reports the Daily Nation.

The restaurant, named Chinese Restaurant, in Nairobi’s Kilimani residential section reportedly failed to obtain a liquor license, a health inspection license, or a license for change of use, having been converted from a house into a restaurant, reports the news outlet.

According to the Daily Nation:

[Nairobi County] Gov. Evans Kidero said though the restaurant management had acquired a licence (sic) 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 (sic) and I have ordered it closed until the management complies,” said Dr Kidero while addressing the media in his office.

The Washington Post reported the restaurant’s ban on Africans early Tuesday.

“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn’t,” said Esther Zhao, the restaurant’s “relations” manager, referring to the al-Qaeda-linked terror group based in neighboring Somalia. “The Chinese people who stay here or come to dine want to feel safe.”

The [Daily Nation] reports that a few “loyal,” well-heeled African patrons are allowed entrance–others may be admitted provided they’re willing to shell out upwards of $200. (It should be noted there are plenty of other Chinese restaurants in Nairobi that are probably far more friendly than this one.)

The restaurant’s management apologized after word about its ban spread, writes the Daily Nation.

“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 (sic) for this,” the management said in a statement.

It’s good that the Kenyan government moved swiftly to resolve the problem, especially as China seeks to expand its economic footprint in Africa.