Former Citizen TV anchor, Janet Mbugua, on Wedenesday, August 1, chimed in on the Chandarana controversy by supporting Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s decision to suspend the retailer’s licence.
Although Ms Mbugua expressed concern that a certain number of Chandarana staff would be affected, she felt it was time for leaders to stand up and defend Kenyans.
“In as much as I do not think what Governor Sonko did completely solves the issue, cancelling licences means affecting businesses and also the employees of those businesses, meaning they do not have work. However, the governor made a strong statement by saying: ‘you will treat our people with respect.’
“I feel like that is one of the solutions, for leaders to stand up and say: ‘you are welcome to work in our country, to have your own industries and build your own empires, but do not mistreat our citizens.’ I feel like we need more leaders to stand up and say that.”
Janet Mbugua called out the elements of racism in non-African owned companies such as Chandarana.
“There is nothing I hate more than the citizens of a country being mistreated.” Janet Mbugua said, referring to a similar incident, the SGR incident on mistreatment of African workers.
“Why are you targeting clientele based on their race? That is not fair. But, what is worse is there has been a history of abuse and racism and a lot of companies that are owned by non-Africans and it has gotten to a point where we have to say enough is enough. We are still healing from the wounds of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) saga and what we heard about [Kenyan] workers being mistreated.”
Janet Mbugua further said that even though an apology was offered, the problem is in the way many of the companies like Chandarana treat Kenyans.
“It is not just about the apology, the leaked email, it is the nature of the way a lot of these companies treat Kenyans; it is the nature of the way racism is ingrained in so many of these companies. Sometimes it is very subtle and sometimes it is just in your face.”
“I like the Asian community to come out and say ‘that’s not who we all are.” Janet Mbugua said.