The Nairobi County government has shut down a Chinese restaurant that refused to serve African customers after 5pm.
According to reports in Kenya’s Daily Nation, the restaurant in Kilimani was operating illegally for years without a liquor licence, a health inspection licence and a change-of-use licence.
The closure comes after media reports of the restaurant’s controversial decision to ban African patrons after 5pm. The owners said it was out of concern for the safety of Chinese patrons.
“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn’t,” relations manager Esther Zhao told the newspaper. “It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun.”
However, staff denied that only a select group of Africans were allowed in, saying there was “strictly a no African policy” in place.
Kenyans who were turned away from the Chinese restaurant have been encouraged to lodge a complaint with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
The owner, Zhao Yang, was arrested yesterday for operating the restaurant without a licence, the Guardian reported. If found guilty, he faces a prison term of 18 months or a fine of more than $1 000.
— Hassan Mugambi (@hassanmugambi) March 23, 2015