President William Ruto visited the Swahili Village restaurant in the United States on Sunday amid an investigation into allegations of theft of workers’ wages and tips by the proprietors.

Kevin Onyona, the founder and owner of the high-end restaurant, hosted Ruto and his delegation for the official opening of a new branch of Swahili Village in New Jersey.

During his trip to the outlet frequented by African diplomats and other international visitors, Ruto lauded Onyona for proudly flying the Kenyan flag abroad and excelling in business.


“Witnessing the success of thriving Kenyans abroad propels our resolve to intensify our foreign relations efforts aimed at broadening opportunities for many more,” said Ruto on X.

The controversial visit to the restaurant by the President comes as Onyona is facing a probe by the DC Attorney General’s office into allegations of theft of wages and tips from workers.

Swahili Village New Jersey. PHOTO/PCS

Many Kenyans on X, formerly Twitter, have wondered why handlers of the Kenyan Head of State made him officiate the ceremony as Swahili Village is facing claims of legal violations.

"Kenyans are known for being hardworking, industrious and having a sharp eye for opportunities beyond our borders," noted Ruto.


Onyona’s M Street outlet in DC is said to have cheated servers, hosts, food runners, bussers and bartenders of their wages including paying them as little as $5 an hour, including tips.

Swahili Village, which is owned by Kenyan Kevin Onyona and Emad Shoeb, is accused by the DC AG of neglecting to pay its workers for overtime and sick leave as required by the law.