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Bugiri Residents Ask Gov't to Intensify Fight Against Counterfeit Products :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Bugiri Residents Ask Gov't to Intensify Fight Against Counterfeit Products

The residents who were attending consultation meetings about the proposed Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill-2023 in Bugiri Municipality told URN on Tuesday that illicit traders are taking advantage of the prevailing high commodity prices to introduce cheap and fake products.
Residents attending a consultative meeting in Bugiri district.
Residents of Bugiri District have asked respective government agencies to increase efforts to curb counterfeit products, which they say are uncontrollably flooding the market.

The residents who were attending consultation meetings about the proposed Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill-2023 in Bugiri Municipality told URN on Tuesday that illicit traders are taking advantage of the prevailing high commodity prices to introduce cheap and fake products. 

Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament, Asuman Basalirwa, and Member of Parliament -Soroti City West Jonathan Ebwalu were granted leave of Parliament to draft a private members bill known as the Anti-counterfeit Goods Bill 2023.

They are currently making nationwide consultations about the bill before tabling it to Parliament.

The residents who unanimously supported the bill say that counterfeits are killing business competitiveness as consumers opt for cheap goods, irrespective of their ineffectiveness, frustrating genuine dealers. 

Abubaker Lyavala said that since the district is located along the Uganda-Kenya border, counterfeit products with brands from neighboring Kenya are branded, as a means of easily hoodwinking the public to purchase them.

Rose Nassanga, another resident says that the fake products include drugs, which cost way less compared to the genuine products. 

Nassanga notes that the counterfeit bill, if enacted into law will help to wipe out fake product dealers from the market, but she further urged government agencies mandated standardization to double their efforts in ensuring enforcement as a means of safeguarding consumers from manipulation.

Basalirwa says that the bill followed research findings about how most of the Cancers in Uganda result from the consumption of counterfeit products. 

Basalirwa argues that, much as there are government agencies mandated with fighting counterfeits in the market, the country lacks a legal instrument to prosecute perpetrators, leaving them to bypass justice and continue with the vice.

Basalirwa notes that, unlike other government agencies focusing on enforcement, the anti-counterfeit bill emphasizes more on sensitizing the masses on prioritizing their health over cheap counterfeit goods.

Ebwalu says that their bill is steered towards public good and after concluding nationwide consultations, they are hopeful of parliamentary support to pass the bill without heist.

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