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Conservationist Leakey kicked out of city restaurant for demanding tap water

Conservationist Dr Richard Leakey has accused an Italian restaurant owner of harassment after he failed to serve him tap water and kicking him out of the premise.

The incident took place at La Cascina Restaurant in Karen on Tuesday as Dr Leakey and his wife Dr Meave were having lunch.

The couple asked for tap water and were denied and after pressing they were given plastic cups and told to fetch water from the toilet.

The conservationist in a letter to the Ministry of Tourism asked that the restaurant’s license be withdrawn for the proprietor’s “Trumpish attitude” as well as violating Kenyans’ constitutional right.


“The waiter refused to give us Nairobi water and said they only serve bottled water. As you know, bottled water is costly. I pressed them for this and eventually asked to see the proprietor, an Italian man who comes to table. He reiterated that he would not give us local water which he claimed was not safe,” narrated Dr Leakey in his letter.

The 72-year-old, whose father Dr Louis Leakey was an archeologist in Kenya, said this was the first time he was encountering such behavior since his days as a young boy in Nairobi.

“I suggested that under the law he was not entitled to deny us water and force us to buy his expensive bottles. In response to my request he gave me two plastic cups and told me to go to the toilet to get my own water. When I again remonstrated he took away our unfinished lunch, called security and told us to leave. I asked for his card and he refused and said I should take him to court if I was not happy,” narrated Dr Leakey.

Lawyer Donald B Kipkorir has since taken to Twitter to comment on the matter as the attorney of La Cascino.

An account belonging to one Zappa Gianpaolo whose only tweets are about the incident suggested that Dr Leakey was offered a free bottle of water as the owner was concerned about “an elderly client’s health.”