NAIROBI, KENYA: Chandarana food plus supermarkets are still operational despite a directive by Governor Mike Sonko to have their licenses revoked over a racist email leaked to the public over the weekend.
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Leaders have also come out and urged Governor Mike Sonko to further investigate the issue that has caused public outrage across the Country.
A spot check by this writer indicated that Food plus supermarkets in Ngara, Muthaiga, Karen and Kilimani were still operational, with no indication of operations grinding to a halt soon.
At the Ngara branch, customers went about their usual shopping at the facility with some oblivious of the developments surrounding the supermarkets.
At Chandarana food plus supermarket head office, located at Lenana place, the narrative was the same. It was business as usual with clients trickling in and out. Were it not for the media reports, one would be forgiven to think that the business had any dark clouds dangling over its head.
Efforts to have a word with the top management of the chain stores on whether official communication had been made from City Hall, with regards to revocation of the licences were however futile.
This writer was informed that the directors were holed in a meeting and would get back to him later.
“The directors are in a meeting but you could leave your contacts and once they are through they will contact you,” said a receptionist.
Additionally, women leaders on Monday called on Governor Mike Sonko to conduct proper investigations before making any drastic decisions.
Appearing on a local television station, the leaders were in support of Sonko’s move meant to curtail racism but also urged the Governor to conduct in-depth investigations.
Nairobi County Assembly Speaker, Beatrice Elachi sought to know who hacked and leaked the email currently doing rounds on social media. She also defended Sonko’s directive to revoke the licences of the supermarkets, albeit hoping that the governor’s advisors had advised him correctly.
“I hope that Sonko is still following up on the matter and whoever gave him the email should provide him with more information. He has to stand in and support the Chandarana workers who might get into trouble,” she stated.
Uasin Gishu women representative, Gladys Sholei observed that Kenyans were right in being angry about the email, saying Kenya had have never been a racist country.
She however warned that the decision to revoke the license of a huge company like that could have huge repercussions and the City Government could end up being hit by huge bills for damages.
“…Remember the unemployment in our country is high. You would not want to shut it down until you are sure that they have committed an offence that warrants shutting down,” said Sholei.
On Sunday, Chandarana Food plus supermarket was forced to apologise after an email they circulated to their managers on how to attract white customers went viral.
The email sent by Mrs Rima Patel, who the retailer said is a recent hire in its marketing department, asked managers to target white shoppers with gift vouchers.
“We are delighted to inform you that our supermarket chain would like to give you free vouchers to winner/raffles/best performer/runners up candidate in upcoming events. As we are now focusing on white people to attract our supermarkets,” read the email in part.
The supermarket however blamed the recently hired marketing specialist for poor wording stating she had a poor grasp of the English language.
“Chandarana Food plus would like to sincerely apologise for the unfortunate and insensitive narrative written on email by one of our very new and recent hires in the marketing department,” the statement read in part.