the deputy’s decision to drop the lawsuit comes after pressure from Moroccan citizens and activists.
Rabat – A Moroccan MP from the Party of Authenticity and Modernity, Abdellatif Zaim, is receiving heavy criticism for causing the arrest of a woman who works in his egg factory. The MP accused the woman of stealing “16 eggs.”
On Tuesday, January 5, Zaim took to court one of his factory workers for stealing 16 eggs. The woman was arrested for “breach of trust” and was admitted to prison while awaiting the trial.
After two days under custody, the prosecution finally interrogated the accused woman on Sunday. She confessed to stealing the 16 eggs, explaining that she hid them with her belongings.
While leaving the factory, she added, the manager confronted her and searched her belongings forcefully which ended up breaking the stolen eggs. The police summoned the legal representative of the company, who, upon his presence, clung to the complaint, and insisted on the judicial follow-up.
The situation has stirred controversy across Morocco, with citizens and activists lashing out at the MP on numerous social media.
One person on Twitter recalls that the same MP in question who caused controversy over 16 eggs is responsible for Morocco entering Guinness record for “the biggest egg omelet in the world.” “This is a testament to our elite’s lack of morals,” adds the same tweet.
In a show of solidarity with the worker, a group of egg-sellers went to the farm of the MP to “donate some eggs,” mocking the absurdity of the case.
Moroccan activist Omar Arbib posted on Facebook that the true crime is the exploitation of the worker by her employer. “ She works ten hours a day and she is paid less than minimum wage while the MP owns 3 egg farms,” he said. Arbib added that the case is an opportunity to examine working conditions and employer’s respect for labor laws.
The MP’s lawyer argued, however, that the arrest was necessary to protect his factory from loss. The lawyer claimed that a total of “10.000” was stolen in the past year. In response, activist Omar Cherkaoui posted: “Why didn’t the MP stop the theft at 10, 100 or 1000 eggs. Why did it take him 10000 eggs, something is definitely wrong!”
The heavy criticism from social media users and pressure from Moroccan activists appear to have reached political officials. According to the official website of the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), MP Abdellatif Zaim has now decided to drop the lawsuit against his employee after the intervention of Abdellatif Ouahbi, PAM’s secretary-general.
Meanwhile, the accused worker, who is a mother of four children, receives a salary of MAD 1800 (180$).
The employee’s lawyer told Alyaoum24 that she has been working in Zaim’s factory for 11 years, but her employer only recently agreed to register her with the National Social Security Fund (CNSS). However, Zaim only reported her as an official employee for 5 years, depriving her of social protection for the rest of her work period.
This is not the first time that such a case has emerged in the MP’s factory. Zaim had previously persecuted one of his employees for stealing a screwdriver. In that case, the accused worker received a six-month prison sentence, according to converging reports.