Sonko cancels Chandarana Supermarket licences after racist email


Sonko cancels Chandarana Supermarket licences after racist email
Chandarana Foodplus Supermarket on the spot for a racially insensitive email. PHOTO/COURTESY

In Summary

  • The mail, perceived to have implied that the retail chain was only interested in white clients, elicited anger from Kenyans on social media with most of them vowing not to visit any of the supermarket’s outlets again.
  • Chandarana Supermarket has, however, issued an apology for the perceived racially insensitive email, terming it as an error committed by “one of our very new and recent hires in the marketing department.”
  • The apology has drawn even more criticism, with a section of online users faulting the retail chain for hiring a non-Kenyan employee with poor communication skills.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Sunday evening cancelled licences for all Chandarana Foodplus supermarkets following claims of racial bias.

In a text message to newsrooms, Sonko said he had ordered his county officers to ensure enforcement of the shutdown starting Monday.

Chandarana Foodplus Supermarket blamed a new employee in their marketing department for a recently leaked racially sensitive email.

In a screenshot of the email to managers on Friday, the retail giant’s Marketing Specialist Rima Patel said, “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.”

The mail, perceived to have implied that the retail chain was only interested in white clients, elicited anger from Kenyans on social media with most of them vowing not to visit any of the supermarket’s outlets again.

Chandarana Supermarket has, however, issued an apology for the perceived racially insensitive email, terming it as an error committed by “one of our very new and recent hires in the marketing department.”

“Her lack of proficiency in the English language is an easy way to justify this horrendous error.”

The supermarket chain further stated that it would take necessary steps to make sure the error never happens again.

“The immense magnitude of this error undoubtedly comes to us as a severe embarrassment and all the apologies in the world cannot make such a wrong a right again,” said the supermarket.

The apology has drawn even more criticism, with a section of online users faulting the retail chain for hiring a non-Kenyan employee with poor communication skills.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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