Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu has suspended the trading license of besieged Alchemist Bar over racial discrimination claims against black patrons, and noise pollution.
In a statement, the Nairobi County Director of Communications Beryl Okundi said that the governor “has directed for a probe on the reported incidents and a comprehensive report to be tabled in her office within five working days.”
She also disclosed that so far 10 workers have been arrested and arraigned.
Alchemist caused an uproar over the weekend after a video went viral showing what appears to be a discrimination stunt against black customers.
“We have an image to protect and the future, 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,” Governor Kananu said.
The viral video showed blacks and Caucasians lining up in different queues to enter the entertainment joint, which is located in Westlands, Nairobi.
On Monday, the club announced that it would shut its doors to pave way for investigations on claims of racism.
In a statement, the club confirmed that Nairobi city county officers had visited the joint to analyse the CCTV footage, “to review the night of May 29, to determine if the guests in question were denied entry and if there was a policy in place to have separate lines for guests.”
The county will also be looking to determine if there has ever been a policy of discrimination.
“Interviews and footage will be reviewed of the past events both at the gate and inside the establishment,” the club said.
The investigations come a day after the Nairobi-based entertainment joint was accused of racism and since distanced itself from the vice.
In its rebuttal, the club argued there is one main entrance to the venue that all customers entering for the first time must go through.
“The line is composed of people of all different backgrounds. We have never had a policy of segregating lines,” it said.
“There was a group of customers who had stepped out and were re-entering the venue. The security allowed them to come in through the exit line in order not to clog up the main entrance. The video that was shared by a private individual made it appear that another customer was denied entry – that’s simply not true,” added the club.
On Sunday, the club issued an apology saying it regretted the action.
“To anyone who has felt aggrieved, we sincerely apologise and look forward to sitting down together and addressing these issues head-on.”
Offering to have a round table discussion over the matter, the management claimed they have never discriminated against anyone.
“Since we opened our doors, the Alchemist has always been a home to welcome creators, partners, musicians and customers from all different backgrounds,” the club added.
However, Kenyans could hear none of the apologies or explanations with some of them retrieving past scenarios where the club discriminated against black Kenyans.
The club was on the spot again in 2016 after its security team allegedly denied entry to non-Caucasian clients.