What you need to know:
- During his visit to the restaurant, the President highlighted that the success of Kenyans abroad serves as a driving force behind the Kenya Kwanza administration’s commitment to intensifying foreign relations and partnerships.
President William Ruto visited the Swahili Village Restaurant in New Jersey, United States, on Sunday, September 17, where he expressed pride in Kenyans engaged in business abroad. The popular Swahili Village is owned by Kevin Onyona, a Kenyan based in the US.
“We are very proud as Kenyans. I am a very proud Kenyan leader. You have come all the way and hustled your way through the states,” President Ruto said.
Mr Onyona is facing prosecution from authorities for allegedly stealing wages from hundreds of his employees for many years.
Recently, the Attorney-General (AG) of Washington DC, Brian Schwalb, said in court papers that the proprietor of the eatery and his Business Executive Emad Shoeb “rampantly and systematically violated the city’s tipped minimum wage law and other worker protections, by stealing wages from their employees.”
The AG further stated that the restaurant adds a 20 per cent gratuity to all charges, but that the owners allegedly pocketed large amounts of tips from customers, which are exclusively meant to be kept by employees.
The lawsuit states that after the employer took away the tips, the employees were allegedly offered wages, which were far below the minimum wage according to DC wage guidelines.
The announcement by the AG that he had opened charges against the executives of the Swahili Village restaurant triggered social media debates with many across the US, who had known the hotel as one of the success stories of an immigrant business entity in America, expressing outrage at the alleged unethical conduct by the owners.
During his visit to the restaurant, the President also highlighted that the success of Kenyans abroad serves as a driving force behind the Kenya Kwanza administration’s commitment to intensifying foreign relations and partnerships.
“Witnessing the success of thriving Kenyans abroad propels our resolve to intensify our foreign relations efforts aimed at broadening opportunities for many more,” he said.
“Kenyans are known for being hardworking, industrious, and having a sharp eye for opportunities beyond our borders,” Ruto added.