A SALES manager at Pick N Pay in Makeni has testified how a couple complained to him about buying Legana Hungarian sausage from the store which was allegedly not fit for human consumption as it looked like it was wrapped in a condom.
This is a matter in which Luyando Kopakopa, a clinical medical student and her alleged partner Eric Ng’andu a police reserve, are charged with one count of libel.
It is alleged that Kopakopa and Ng’andu between August 3, 2019 and August 20, 2019 whilst acting together and with intent to defame Legana Investment Limited, unlawfully published defamatory matter against the said company by alleging that it was using human flesh to make sausages and that the meat product is packed in condoms.
Previously, Legana Investment Limited proprietor Edith Nawakwi had testified before chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale that she always had a good relationship with Pick n Pay not until the sausage scandal when the relationship was shaken.
She said among the products that Legana produces, was Hungarian sausage,Vienna sausage, Chili bites, bacon among others, which she supplies to some Shoprite outlets, Pick n Pay outlets, Game Stores and Food Lovers, based on the quantity they order on a weekly basis.
Nawakwi told the court that Legana factory was extremely clean, adding that there were no possibilities of the products being contaminated with foreign matter.
She insisted that the round rubber like looking thing which was purported to be a condom in a video circulated on social media by Kopakopa, was a sausage casing.
When the matter came up for continued trial, Tuesday, Chilemu Bisenga testified that on August 6, last year, he was carrying out other duties on the sales floor where customers shop from, between 18 and 19:00 hours when one of the staff informed him that he was wanted at the front of the store.
He said when he got there, he found the two accused persons, who he met for the first time.
Bisenga said he asked them to follow him to his office and once there, Ng’andu told him that his wife, Kopakopa, cooked Legana sausage which was bought from Makeni’s Pick n Pay store.
He said Ng’andu further told him that when he attempted to eat, Kopakopa informed him that the sausage that was prepared for him did not seem to be the real Hungarian.
“[He said] that it looked like it was wrapped in a condom and did not seem to be fit for human consumption. There after, the couple came back to the store to complain on the quality of the Legana sausage which was bought from Pick N Pay,” the witness said.
Bisenga said as the couple had carried with them a pack of the said Hungarian sausage, he got one sausage and asked someone who worked in the kitchen to fry it so that he could see how it would look after being fried.
He said he later on went back to the couple and assured them that it was just mare sausage casing which was used and that it was the first time the store was receiving such a complaint.
“After assuring them, they did not seem to be convinced. Our company has a customer complaint procedure. I managed to print the compliant form and made the couple to fill in their details and the nature of their complaint, which they did. I assured the customers that we will get back to them after engaging Legana Investment Limited to give their part of the story,” Bisenda said.
The witness said the next day, Legana Investment Limited management was summoned but when Kopakopa was contacted to go back to the store, she never showed up, to date.
Bisenga added that Pick N Pay was also summoned to Kabwata Police Station to give a statement on the occurrence, which was recorded.
The witness further testified that after viewing the CCTV footage for the store, it was discovered that Ng’andu was the one who purchased the Hungarian sausage on August 3, 2019 at 14:30 hours.
In cross examination by the defence, the witness admitted that there was nothing wrong for the customers to complain about the sausage as their complaint was genuine.