Sonko faulted for revoking Chandarana Supermarkets’ licences
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been faulted for ordering revocation of licences of Chandarana Foodplus chain of supermarkets.
The order, which was made on Sunday evening, resulted from complaints about racism at the retail chain after a leaked email disclosed it was planning a marketing strategy which aims at attracting “white customers”.
Legal experts said the governor’s action was uncalled for since he has no mandate to issue such orders single-handedly.
According to Constitution expert Nzamba Kitonga, there are procedures that should be followed if a county government feels that a business within its jurisdiction has disregarded the law.
“That action is not legal. There must be due process. They should have been summoned for a hearing before taking action,” he said in an interview with Nairobi News.
Mr Kitonga added that the supermarket has a right to challenge the county boss’ decision in court.
His sentiments were shared by lawyer Richard Onsongo who said the governor had a choice to prosecute Chandarana owners and let the court decide on what action should be taken or issue a notice to them through its relevant departments to give them a hearing.
“What the governor did is totally illegal. He has no capacity to do that,” he said.
A statement that was issued by Chandarana Foodplus on July 28 said Mrs Rima Patel who was the author of the email which raised a storm on social media was not proficient in English, hence her choice of language was “horrendous”.
“It is not a reflection of what we stand for, not in any remote way. We will take all the stern and strict steps necessary to ensure it never happens again,” read part of the statement.
Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo called on Mr Sonko to be seeking legal advice before taking drastic measures which are not under his authority.
Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV on Monday morning, the legislator, who is also a lawyer, said the governor has no mandate to revoke licenses.
However, in the same interview, Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi said what people should be questioning is whether he got the right advice.
“There is no way the governor would just think of something and do it. He has advisers to advise him legally,” she said.