Racist claim threatens to lock Chandarana out of business
In an unprecedented move on Sunday, Nairobi governor, Mike Sonko revoked all licenses for Chandarana Food Plus supermarket, this drastic move followed claims that the chain was favoring white people.
Through an email allegedly sent out by a female staffer, the supermarket said that it is now focusing on white people as a means to attract shoppers to its stores.
These revelation prompted angry reactions from Kenyans on social media with some attesting that the store is notorious for racially motivated biases and that this was just one of the known cases among several that have rocked the supermarket chain in recent times, including one where the store was accused of mistreating black Kenyan workers in its stores.
“Her lack of proficiency in the English language is an easy way to justify this horrendous error” said the retailer in a statement released afterwards. In the statement, the store also alleged that the staffer, Mrs. Rima Patel was just a new hire in the chain’s marketing department.
See also: Retailer apologizes for racially insensitive email
The subject of race is one that should be approached with caution and restraint. In South Africa for example, history has shown how devastating the consequences can be when this delicate subject is addressed indiscriminately.
In Kenya, it is not just Chandarana that has come under fire for racial bias, a recent article published by the standard media, for example, depicts the agony that Kenyan workers go through under their Chinese masters at the SGR, a situation that prompted a response from the Chinese ambassador to Kenya.
As more people become conscious of this underlying race subject, more cases are expected to hit the public domain.
Chandarana Food Plus has been in operation for close to half a century in Kenya, and operates seven stores in Nairobi and one in Mombasa, questions are now arising with most people questioning whether the embattled governor followed due process before canceling the store’s licenses.
The fate of its 1,200 employees remains unknown.