The Governor of Nairobi County has suspended the trading license of a popular bar pending an investigation after a viral video on social media appeared to show a Black patron being ordered to leave a queue with White and Asian customers.
Besides the racial discrimination claims against Black customers, Governor Ann Kananu also suspended the license of the Alchemist Bar because of noise pollution complaints, The Star reported.
“I have directed county executive committee member for environment to institute a multiagency task force and a comprehensive report of the same to be made in the next five days,” said Kananu.
The high-end Westlands-based club is no longer open for business. The video of the incident in question was shared by a patron who alleged White and Indian customers had been made to join a queue that was separate from Blacks. The video also appears to show a Black customer being made to leave that queue.
“We must protect our county which exercises immense respect to all social races and strongly stands against any form of discrimination and noisy pollution,” Nairobi City County Executive for Environment Larry Wambua said.
But despite the outrage after the video went viral, the club denied the racial discrimination allegations, BBC reported. The club also released a statement on Tuesday saying it had agreed to shut down to allow for an investigation into the May 20 incident. Management said it would look into whether the Black man in the video was denied entry and if customers having separate lines was club policy.
The club added that it would also ascertain if customers have experienced discrimination at the facility by taking a look at past events and analyzing interviews.
“After careful consultations with Nairobi County Government, the Alchemist has agreed to close its doors while a thorough investigation is conducted over the next few days,” the club said, per The Star.
The Alchemist Bar also rendered an apology on Monday and said it had contacted the persons who shared the video to get more details on what transpired. “To anyone that has felt aggrieved, we sincerely apologise and we look forward to sitting down together and addressing these issues head-on,” the club said.
How will we ever beat racism if we are racist against our own selves. Last week when I went to Alchemist there was a line for white and Indian people separate from the blacks’. One black guy tried using the line akachujwa immediately. This is sad really pic.twitter.com/GcY2oPkcmI
— Slim daddy (@murgormurgor) May 29, 2022