Boycott Rocks Marwako Over Pepper Girl

Evelyn Boakye (left), Jihan Chaaban (right)

A campaign to boycott Marwako chain of restaurants has been launched on social media following an alleged assault on a female Ghanaian staff by a Lebanese supervisor.

Jihad Chaaban, 26, brother in-law of the owner of the restaurant, is said to have angrily grabbed the neck of Evelyn Boakye, 25, and allegedly dipped her face into blended raw pepper, which he had purportedly poured onto a table.

Evelyn had her face allegedly rubbed in the stuff for more than 10 minutes while Jihad Chabaan, reportedly squeezed her neck and yelled abusive words at her.

The incident, which has attracted wide condemnation, has led to some persons proposing that Ghanaians stop patronising food prepared by Marwako, in solidarity with the victim, using the hashtag: #BoycottMarwako.

The hashtag was trending wildly on social media as at yesterday – a week after the alleged attack.

Many are of the view that the decision to stop patronising meals prepared by the restaurant would serve as deterrent to other expatriate companies, so that they would learn to respect the rights of their employees in line with the laws of the country.
Management of Marwako claimed that the suspect had been suspended, indicating its readiness to cooperate with the police in dealing with the issue.

“Management assures its clients and the general public that it does not and will never condone mistreatment of its workers and therefore condemns in no uncertain terms the alleged assault,” a statement issued said.

The incident happened on Sunday, February 26, 2017, when Evelyn was asked to help in the Full Chicken Department, where she was instructed to blend fresh pepper for the seasoning of the chicken.

After blending the first set, Evelyn, realising that the sound of the blender was not normal, reportedly decided to find out what the problem could be by turning off the start knob.

That was her ‘offence’ that allegedly instigated the assault on her by the Lebanese supervisor who was initially shielded from police enquiries by management until the issue attracted public attention.

The statement indicated, “The branch supervisor at the centre of the unfortunate development has since been suspended, without prejudice, pending investigations and disciplinary sanctions over the alleged act.”

“The said Abelenkpe branch supervisor, Mr Jihad Chaaban, has been interrogated by police and is currently on bail pending further processes.”

He is expected at the police station today for further interrogations.

The Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Afia Tenge, confirmed that the police received the complaint from the victim on February 28, 2017 and immediately arrested the assailant.

She said the Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Nana Osaberima Oware Asare Pinkrong III, had since directed the Tesano District Police Command to parade the suspect before the command today.