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Chandarana takes action on staff who sent out racist email

Chandarana Foodplus Supermarket has instituted disciplinary action against its staff, who sent out a racist promotion email, sparking outrage from Kenyans.

This comes even as the supermarket chain continues to operate despite Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s call to have it’s licence revoked.

Trouble started after Ms Rima Patel, a staff, sent out an email to the supermarket managers on its new promotion policy saying the food chain was now focusing on white people in their promotions.

The email kicked off a storm on social media.

The food chain’s director Dipan Thakkar said they have since started disciplinary action against the staff, who authored the discriminatory promotion, as one of the steps aimed at addressing the matter conclusively.

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“We would like to take this earliest opportunity to assure your government that in addition to the apology released to the public on Saturday, the management has commenced disciplinary process on the employee,” read a letter addressed to Governor Sonko.

Mr Thakkar acknowledged that the promotion inadvertently profiled some of their customers, but he reiterated that the supermarket, which has 13 branches countrywide, values every customer regardless of their race, age or gender.

He added that the food chain is one of the leading employers in the country with 1, 246 employees, of which only 3 per cent are expatriates.

“Besides, we source all our merchandise from over 2, 500 suppliers, 95 per cent of them local companies and individuals. We have operated professionally since inception and strive to enhance our relations with employees, customers and authorities,” he said.

On Saturday, Chandarana Foodplus supermarket apologised after the email they circulated to their managers on how to attract white customers went viral.

WHITE SHOPPERS

The email sent by Ms 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,” part of the email read.

The supermarket management said the mistake was inexcusable and an embarrassment adding that the email does not “reflect” on the chain’s values, insisting they have been serving all the Kenyan demographics over the last 50 years.

The email drew Mr Sonko’s ire who directed that all the branches in Nairobi be closed consequently and its license be revoked but on Monday the various outlets of the supermarket were operational.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, however, said that the license for the food chain should not be revoked as it will only lead to more job losses saying that instead the governor should charge the supermarket’s management for the mistake.

“When you cancel licenses it will only lead to loss of more jobs. let them be charged for the mistake but not being closed,” said Mr Sakaja.