Sources disclosed that it all started late last week when the minister, in the company of his friends, visited the Restaurant at Sussex, which is being managed by the Italian old man and his Sierra Leonean wife Florence.
AYV was told that Pa Franco approached the minister and requested for him to switch the table he had occupied with his friends, as according to the old man, the table had been booked.
The minister reportedly insisted on not moving, resulting in an argument that led to a heavy slap on the face of the restaurant owner.
When contacted by AYV earlier on Saturday, the Deputy Minister confirmed that he actually visited the restaurant and that there was some fracas between his friends and the restaurant owner.
He said they were approached by a lady working at the restaurant and requested to switch to another table, which he claimed they did.
According to him, they were waiting for their order when the old man approached him with sarcastic comments that food would not be served because they were occupying a reserved table.
He said even before they could explain how they ended up on that spot, the old man had insulted the President.
“Even if your President Ernest comes here, I will not serve him food if he did not make prior reservation. Go and tell him that me Franco said so,” Washingai quoted the old man.
According to him, it was at this juncture that one of his friends stood up and followed the old man inside the restaurant to clarify why he was referring to the president in such an offending manner.
“An argument ensued between them and I only went in to separate them,” he said, adding “Nobody slapped him”.
The minister further claimed that a crowd of supporters of the old man stormed the restaurant and almost lynched them, but that they narrowly escaped.