The country’s leading fast foods outlet, Chicken Inn has come under spotlight following an alleged customer poisoning incident at one of its outlets in Gweru.
By Artwell Chirichoga and Delicious Mathuthu
It is alleged that Chicken Inn, Gweru city branch repackages bulk detergent cleaning chemicals into smaller containers which resulted in one of the employees mistakenly taking the repackaged detergent which was in a Sprite drink container into the soft drinks refrigerator at the front counter.
According to the unsuspecting victim Carlos Nigwa, who is employed as a mechanic assistance at a local garage in Gweru came, he bought a soft drink from a cashier resulting in him being handed detergent cleaning chemical which was packed in the Sprite soft drink container.
“Sometime in March this year, in the company of a friend, we bought a three piecer grilled chicken and chips and two soft drinks, we didn’t go out because we were very hungry so we relaxed inside the shop to enjoy the food and drink but surprisingly I became startled and muddled as my tongue savored an odd taste.
“Alarmed by my reaction as I froze for a moment, the shop floor workers quickly came to my rescue and realized that the sprite container was filled with a detergent liquid.
“They immediately took me to their management who said they would send me to a doctor for examination,” said Nigwa.
He added that after taking the poisonous liquid he got treatment four days later after the intervention of the Gweru City Council Health Department.
He says during that period, he experienced continuous diarrhea, vomiting and lost taste and his health has deteriorated since.
“I vomitted, had a running stomach and lost taste which worsened my health condition,” added Nigwa.
He added that though vomiting and running stomach has stopped, his eyes are still painful and hasn’t recovered from his taste loss.
Much to his surprise, Nigwa says Chicken Inn management is now refusing to meet his medical bills after being referred to a specialist in Bulawayo.
“The doctor I was referred to said I have to go to Bulawayo to consult a physician to remedy the long term effects but the Chicken Inn management denied this arrangement pointing out that they have reached their limit for my medication and told me to find a lawyer who they can only talk to,” said Nigwa.
He added that Chicken Inn management both in Gweru and Harare are showing arrogance and lack of concern with one of them threatening to sue him if the issue goes public.
Chicken Inn’s Phillip Kaiyo referred 263Chat to the company’s Head Offices in Harare for the official comment about the issue.
Upon contacting the company’s Head Office, a receptionist who declined to be named said the Managing Director, Mr Amit Gupta was in a meeting.
Later on, an official from Chicken Inn’s Public Relations department who refused to identify himself phoned one of 263Chat reporters confirming the incident adding that he had papers to prove Nigwa’s medical assistance from the company doctors.
“His medical papers from our Doctor reveal that he had been treated from all the harm and is now fit but I think he is just testing his luck to get money out of our company.
“Let him pursue but he will never outmaneuver us in courts because we have a huge financial base and can afford legal experts to outwit a poor guy like Nigwa,” said PR official.