'Racist' Chinese restaurant owner charged

2015-03-26 17:14
Kenyan authorities have closed a Chinese restaurant in the capital which was accused by a local newspaper of refusing to serve Africans at night. (Khalil Senosi, AP)

Kenyan authorities have closed a Chinese restaurant in the capital which was accused by a local newspaper of refusing to serve Africans at night. (Khalil Senosi, AP)

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Nairobi - The manager of a Chinese restaurant in Kenya at the centre of racism storm was charged Thursday with not having a work permit and operating without a licence, prosecutors said.

The restaurant was shut down by the authorities in the capital Nairobi after it emerged it was barring black patrons after 17:00, prompting a public outcry.

Kenya's public prosecutions office said the restaurant's Chinese manager, Esther Zao, appeared in court on charges of "operating a restaurant without a licence and engaging in employment without a work permit".

"The prosecution opposed the release of the accused on bail, stating that she is a foreign national and... a flight risk," the office said in a statement.

It said Zao was remanded in custody to a women's prison in Nairobi, with a further bail hearing due to take place on Monday.

The restaurant, situated in Nairobi's commercial and residential district of Kilimani, became the focus of attention after furious residents took to social media to denounce its policy of not allowing Africans to eat there in the evening.

The owners of the restaurant said the measure had been put in place following a robbery and over fears of attacks by Somalia's al-Qaeda linked Shabaab militants, who in 2013 massacred at least 67 people in Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  kenya  |  east africa

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