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Fake cosmetics case: Maama Sure Deal seeks out-of-court settlement

A businesswoman charged with vending cosmetics allegedly not fit for human usage has asked Specialised Utilities Wild and Standards Court presided over by magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu to allow her have an out-of-court settlement.

Ms Maria Prossy Namwanje, the proprietor of Sure Deal products is also charged with other counts ranging from using the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Quality Mark without permit and being in possession of commodities that do not conform to compulsory standards.

The accused through her lawyer, Mr Wycliffe Tumwesigye, told court that she wishes to settle the matter out-of-court.
“Your worship, the accused person is wishing to have an out-of-court settlement and in the interest of proper discussion, we are requesting for at least a month adjournment because the settlement may involve availability of funds,” Mr Tumwesigye submitted.

In response, the UNBS prosecutor did not object to the accused person’s request. She, however, informed court that she had lined up several witnesses all much ready to testify against Ms Namwanje. The trial magistrate Ms Kamasanyu adjourned the matter to April 1.

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Prosecution contends that on February 2, 2018, in and around Buganda Road on plot 2127, Ms Namwanje sold several brands of the Sure Deal Cosmetics products worth 1595.8 kilograms bearing the UNBS Quality Mark without permission. 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.

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 creams and soaps that are used in skin lightening contain hydroquinone which chemical is dangerous for human usage.

Ms Namwanje is not the first businesswoman dealing in cosmetics to be charged with illegal use of the UNBS Quality Mark.
On February 9, 2018, Ms Fiona Namawejje, 36, alias Aunt Lususu, was charged with illegal use of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (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 UNBS Quality mark on her cosmetic products including; Aunt Lususu Family Jelly, Aunt Lususu Face Clearing Jelly and Aunt Lususu Cosmetics for sale without permit from UNBS.

Utility
According to a statement from the head of public relations at UNBS, Mr Godwin Bonge Muhwezi, some of the seized Sure Deal products include; 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.

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