Legana Investment Limited proprietor Edith Nawakwi has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that Legana factory is extremely clean, adding that there are no possibilities of the products being contaminated with foreign matter.
And Nawakwi has insisted that the round rubber-like substane purported to be a condom in a video circulated on social media by a clinical medicine student, Luyando Kopakopa, was a sausage casing.
This is a matter in which Kopakopa 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 company by alleging that it was using human flesh to make sausages and that the meat product is packed in condoms.
Previously, 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 some of the products that Legana produces are Hungarian sausage, Vienna sausage, Chili bites, bacon, among others, which she supplies to some Shoprite outlets, Pick N Pay, Game Stores and Food Lovers, based on the quantity they order on a weekly basis.
Nawakwi testified that on the material day, she was alerted by Legana Marketing Manager George Phiri that there was a video circulating on social media relating to her meat product.
She said before she could check on Mwebantu, Zambian Observer and YouTube, she received phone calls from people asking her what was going on.
Nawakwi said when she checked her WhatsApp messages and various websites on Facebook, she came across a video in which Kopakopa was informing the public that she had cooked Legana sausage and whilst consuming it, she found a condom in it.
She said Kopakopa expressed disgust while showing someone in the background that the meat that was used to make the sausage was human flesh.
Nawakwi said Kopakopa alleged that Legana sausage was satanic, adding that the sausage in question was very popular and the meat producing company was feeding the public dirt.
“I was alarmed, scared. People associate Legana sausage to me. I am the face of the sausage. I wondered what people would say to me if I went into town. I got scared that the people of Zambia, if they met me, they would institute a mob justice. I realized that the video meant to invoke hatred and I needed to secure my life,” she said.
“No one wants to eat human flesh your honour. Once you post things on the World Wide Web, it’s permanent injury. Because of the videos, Pick N Pay said it was delisting all Legana products and instructed us to collect everything we delivered. We embarked on the collection [and] about three to four weeks [later], we were told not to supply to Pick N Pay because of the complaint and we lost business.”
But when the matter came up for cross examination by one of the defence lawyers Keith Mweemba, Tuesday, Nawakwi confirmed that she never saw the same sausage which Kopakopa alleged to have contained human flesh and a condom.
Asked if she had heard of cases where a cockroach or any other foreign matter was found in packaged food, Nawakwi said not from her company.
She added that “Legana factory is extremely clean”.
Nawakwi said she was not personally responsible for the production of the sausages at the factory as it was done by the workers, but added that as far as she was concerned, there was no human flesh in the sausage.
She further said the possibility of her employees making a mistake during production should be excluded.
Nawakwi insisted that the round rubber-like object which Kopakopa alleged to be a condom in the viral video looked like a sausage casing.
This was despite Mweemba unwrapping an actual condom to demonstrate to her that at face value, the said sausage in the video looked like it had a condom.
Nawakwi further admitted that there was no documentary proof of the statistics that the whole country knew that she was the director at Legana Investments.
Mweemba then said “in the absence of that evidence, we do not know statistically the number of people who may think that the reputation of Legana Investment has been injured.”
Nawakwi responded in the affirmative.
And when Mweemba further challenged Nawakwi that her workers at the factory were making sausages with bare hands as shown on ZNBC news during a conducted inspection of the factory after Kopakopa’s allegations, Nawakwi admitted that her employees were making sausage with bare hands as it was procedure in sausage making.
She added that the workers wore gloves when packing.
Nawakwi, however, confirmed that food production must be done in a sanitary environment and that the people involved in that process must have protective clothing, which included gloves.