Jam Tree in racism storm

by | Aug 2, 2021 | Business | 0 comments


Mako Jerera

Jam Tree, an upmarket restaurant is in the eye of a storm after one of its managers allegedly racially abused a patron.

A patron identified as Nyarie Munda, took to social media to complain over the treatment they received at the joint.

Munda wrote on Facebook on how he was ‘embarrassed’ and ‘insulted’ by The Jam Tree white manager for parking at an undesignated place.

“I’d like to name and shame the owner of The Jam Tree. Yesterday my wife and I went to get food at this establishment, and on getting there, we asked if we could park in the back car park by the golf course whilst we wait for our food,” he said.

He said they parked on the grass without paying much attention and the owner got into a tirade.

“The waiter told us it was okay and we should park in the usual spot. We drove there and parked on the grass literally 3 metres away from the owners car. There was a gardener there watering the grass and he didn’t seem to have an issue with where we parked. To my surprise this white South African guy(the owner), came from nowhere and started yelling at us for parking on wet grass. The guy called us dumb, stupid and all sorts of derogatory words. Surprisingly I kept my cool and said I’m sorry for parking here, i was directed here and it’s just grass, however there’s no need to talk to us like that,” Munda added.

He says he urged the manager to communicate properly since he was a regular customer of over 8 years, and were there to promote his business but the manager went to to jump right back into a crazy fit and said his business does not need people like “him” supporting his business.

It was at that point he thought he could get beaten by the manager.


“He kept pulling crazy faces, taunting me, storming away then coming back as if he’s about to fight. Once again I kept calm and watched this mad man talk to us like we are worthless. I apologised again and cautioned him to address clients nicely but he wouldn’t have it and started with the insults again.He then stormed into Jam Tree, where we heard him yelling at the workers at the top of his voice. Soon after the waiters including the chef rushed to the car park and started apologising on this guys behalf,” said Munda.

Munda promised never to visit the establishment again.

His account triggered a conversation around racism at the place, with some patrons saying they received the same treatment.

On the local trip adviser web page, customers laid out the same allegations which received support from many who claimed to have faced the same.

One Trip Advisor user said; “ The manager of this establishment is a very racist white man who treats black customers like dogs. I went there for a meal with my family and he was very rude and shouted at us as if we were animals. But every other white person was treated with respect.”

The restaurant issued an apology over the incident, saying they cannot be racist because they ‘teach black people how to mix drinks every now and then.’

“To all our loyal customers, as most of you are aware, there has been a post circulating on social media in which one of our managers has been accused of racism. Of course, when something like this happens, there is not a clear path to response as it is a very sensitive subject in today’s society. The first thing we would like to put out there is whilst the owners of Jam Tree acknowledge that an incident took place, we vehemently deny it was a racist attack in any way,” the statement read.

They said they sell local products, so they cannot be racist.

“Jam Tree prides itself as being a multi-cultural venue. This shines through in everything we do. From our music policy to the food we serve, the drink brands we support including many local products, we are a proudly multi-cultural venue.

The manager in question has been uplifting staff in the industry by giving free bartender flaring lessons every week since he joined us. Most importantly. We would like to strongly emphasize that we are not racist. We, however, will work tirelessly to make sure there’s mutual understanding between management and patrons. We also sincerely apologize to Nyari and his wife for the unfortunate event,”added Jam Tree.

Their apology was seen by some as a case of trying to escape a racism storm by invoking a few instances of benevolence towards black people.

Other claims said Jam Tree has a whites only section, a spectacle unexpected in post-colonial Zimbabwe.