A businesswoman charged with vending cosmetics not fit for human usage has been fined Shs 30m by the Specialised Utilities Wildlife and Standards Court.
Ms Maria Prossy Namwanje, the proprietor of Sure Deal products was charged with counts ranging from using the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Quality Mark without permit, being in possession of commodities that do not conform to compulsory standards.
In a session presided over by magistrate Marion Mangeni, Namwanje pleaded guilty after a plea bargain with the UNBS.
Upon Ms Namwanje confessing to the charges, Ms Caroline Akugizibwe, the lawyer for UNBS informed court that they agreed to a non-custodial sentence on ground that the convict pays Shs 30m.
She further informed court that the directors of UNBS did not object to that arrangement before seeking court to endorse their agreement.
Consequently, the trial magistrate Ms Mangeni endorsed the agreement between the two parties by fining the convict Shs 30m.
Prosecution contends that on February 2, 2018, in and around Buganda Road on plot 2127, Namwanje sold several brands of the Sure Deal Cosmetics products worth 1595.8 kilograms bearing the UNBS Quality Mark, without the permission of UNBS and on the same date she was in possession of commodities not approved for human usage contravening sections of the UNBS Act.
Under the UNBS Act, no person is allowed to import, distribute, sell or have in his or her possession or control for sale or distribution any commodity for which a compulsory standard specification has been declared.
This is not the first time that a businesswoman is charged with illegal use of the UNBS Quality Mark .On February 9, 2018,Namawejje Fiona,36, commonly known as Aunt Lususu, was also charged with illegal use of the UNBS Quality Mark.
According to the charge sheet Namawejje on September 14, 2017 at Aunt Lususu Shop no.404A Nakasero Complex in Kampala District applied the UNBS Q-mark on her cosmetics products called Aunt Lususu Family Jelly, Aunt Lususu Face Clearing Jelly and Aunt Lususu Cosmetics for sale without permit from UNBS.
Some of the products covered under compulsory standards include but not limited to cosmetics, drinks, electronics, foods, steel products and cement, confectionaries (bread and biscuits), apiary and mattresses. According to UNBS, a number of crèmes and soaps that are used in skin lightening contain hydroquinone which chemical is dangerous for human Usage.
Some of the seized Sure Deal products are; Baby Petroleum Jelly, Baby Oil, Lightening Shinning Cream, Instant Bleach Cream, Lightening Herbal Soap, Lightening Oil, and Stretch Mark Oil, among others. Mr Muhwezi further noted that the seized products would have had adverse health effects on more than 10,000 households.