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ArtCafe Saga: Beef over bread turns sour at Nairobi’s Village Market cafe

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A businessman has claimed he was treated badly by an Israeli manager at a popular restaurant in the Village Market.

Sam Mutua, a contractor, had gone to buy croissants at Artcafe when a manager only identified as Danif, allegedly harassed him on June 18.

But Danif, the Village Market and the Gigiri police have denied Mutua was harassed.

Mutua claims Danif allegedly used offensive language before pushing him out of the shop, threatening to call the police – a version of the story that was immediately discounted by some workers and security officials.

Mutua walked in the café and ordered eight pieces of the croissants, which was packed by one of the attendants.

However, as he prepared to pay, the order was cancelled as Mutua had supposedly bought bread above the standard limit. According to the rule at the restaurant, customers wishing to buy more than six croissants must place an advance order two days before going to collect them.

Mutua allegedly could not hear of this – sparking an argument that almost turned violent before security men intervened. A single croissant costs Sh210.

“I wondered why was I not being allowed to take what I had ordered for and was ready to pay. The manager shouted at me to shut up before trying to push me out of his shop,” claimed Mutua, accusing officers at the Gigiri police station of refusing to record a statement from him.

Nohad Keraldeen, the head of security at the shopping mall, accused Mutua of seeking cheap publicity out of the incident, which he termed as unfortunate.

He claimed he was called to reconcile Danif and Mutua who agreed to forgive each other.

“Both of them accepted their mistake of overreacting after being carried by emotions. I talked to them and they shook hands afterwards, so I don’t understand where all this fuss is coming from,” Nohad, also an Israeli, said.

He denied that his compatriot had expressed racist sentiments against Mutua.

“There was nothing like that. The manager is well aware of the dangers of racist behaviours,” he added.

 David Onyapidi, the assistant security manager, said no racist remarks had been made.

Gigiri CID boss Peter Mungai said he was aware of the incident

-The Nairobian

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