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Hotel staff happy after serving President Uhuru's family

REAL ESTATE
By Philip Mwakio and Mishi Gongo | December 31st 2018
La Marina Restaurant Director Rita Zarnack sits on the bar stool President Uhuru Kenyatta used last Thursday. [Gideon Maundu]

La Marina Seafood Restaurant located on the scenic shores of Mtwapa Creek in Kilifi County is still savouring the pleasure of serving lunch to Kenya’s first family last Thursday.

The President and his entourage of about 40 family members including, his wife Margaret and his mother, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, walked into the restaurant at around 1pm and left at around 6pm.

“When the President’s handlers made reservations for lunch, we had the least idea who the guests were. We set out as is our norm and prepared the best for the guests,” hotel Director Rita Zarnack told The Standard in an interview.

Ms Zarnack, who is a hands-on boss, joined her kitchen staff headed by Chef Jackson Kyalo in preparing seafood, the main meal, for the first family.

“I am still amazed at the simplicity exhibited by the Head of State. He sat on a bar stool and would from time to time communicate on his cellphone as he sipped his popular drink,” said Zarnack.

Before the first family left the premises, the Head of State took a group photo with the entire hotel staff.

“This place has a nice breeze and it's a cool joint to hang out,” the Head of State told the staff.

Zarnack and the sales manager, Alice Githumbi Gacheru, ensured that all the guests were served well.

Ms Gacheru said when Uhuru and his entourage streamed in, they thought of closing down the premises to other guests, but were advised not to.

“At one point a local mzungu resident walked in with a terrier. I walked up to him and told him that pets were not allowed in here. I even told him that the President was in our midst. However, one of Uhuru’s handlers walked to where we were and told me to leave the guest to continue with his business,” Gacheru said.

The main course included seafood platter, chips, steamed rice, broccoli, carrots an French beans.

These guests were served assorted drinks.

Zarnack was full of praise for the Head of State for choosing her premises.

"The President is out to help promote tourism and is leading from the front," she said. 

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