E-DRUG: Ugandan president will hang counterfeiters
According to the president of Uganda, individuals who manufacture, import,
distribute or sell counterfeits should be executed. See:
The president notes that Medicines (Pharmaceutical products) are among the most
counterfeited products. I hope his definition of counterfeits does not include
Emmanuel Gyezaho, Kampala
Individuals who manufacture, import, distribute or sale counterfeit should be
executed, President Museveni has proposed.
He said such individuals endanger lives of millions and create revenue loss to
The President made the remarks yesterday in Kampala while opening a workshop
organised by Africa Matters, a pan African investments group, led by Baroness
Lynda Chalker of Wallasey.
Mr Museveni said he would be comfortable employing the harsh communist Chinese
strategy of hanging culprits who profiteer from counterfeit goods, to deter
individuals from indulging in illicit trade.
�I think in China they�ve got some good solutions because you remember the
other man who sold milk which killed children, I think he was put on firing
squad,� said the President. �If somebody kills children, do you think the
Chinese are very wrong?�
Last month, a Chinese court sentenced three people to death and two others to
life in prison for their roles in the country�s tainted milk scandal which
killed at least six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 others.
The health of Ugandans and other African citizens came under sharp focus as
participants heard that anti-malaria drugs, anti-retroviral drugs, foods and
beverages, plus other consumable goods are the prime pirated goods.
�We know that more than half the anti-malaria medicines in Africa are
counterfeit,� said Ms Chalker. �This is an evil in our society.�
The severe effects of consuming substandard products are what could have
inspired Mr Museveni to propose the death penalty as punishment for dealers in
He was, however, mindful of the global liberal stance on the death penalty and
quickly quipped: �Now I don�t know whether you want to think of such a
solution...but I can see my liberals from the West shaking their heads.�
His idea of sending offenders to the guillotine was only part of the proposals
of punitive measures that formed the highlight of discussions to rein in the
Outgoing trade minister Janat Mukwaya told delegates that the government had
finally come up with a new draft law-The Anti-Counterfeit Bill 2009, detailing
stringent punitive measures against offenders.
Top of the punishments is a fine not less than five times the market value of
the genuine products and a minimum five year jail sentence to culprits found in
possession of pirated goods.
But individuals who manufacture, produce or make the counterfeit goods, Ms
Mukwaya said, will be liable to paying a fine 10 times the value of the genuine
goods, an order of permanent closure of business premises and a jail sentence.
�The Bill is now going to cabinet,� said Ms Mukwaya.
Participants heard from new Finance Minister Ms Syda Bbumba, that the Ugandan
market is flooded with counterfeit goods, manufactured primarily from the Asian
continent with China as the leading culprit because �of their low cost of
labour, cheaper prices, size and proximity of markets.�
�Uganda�s market is one of the largest recipients of counterfeit products and
this is because they are cheap, people are poor and will go in for the
cheapest,� said Ms Bbumba.
Uganda Revenue Authority boss Allen Kagina admitted that URA was finding it
�very difficult� to identify and withdraw fake products once the goods manage
to go through the porous borders.
�URA needs to be aware before the goods arrive,� said Ms Kagina, adding that
the revenue body is currently relegated to relying on information from owners
of trade marks about product imitation or replication.
Drinking from Museveni�s spring of knowledge
- Supports Chinese execution of counterfeiters. �If the person is killed, he
won�t use the money gained from counterfeiting.�
- Has stopped eating kaalo (millet bread) because sub-standard grinding mills
used leave metal in the flour.
- Shelling groundnuts and leaving them in the open is dangerous, exposes them
to fungus which destroys liver.
- Ministry of Health should launch radio campaigns, advising public against
keeping shelled groundnuts overnight.
- Ugandans surviving by chance like wild animals. Zebras are not treated but
- Counterfeits in the past were confined to luxuries like watches, but the evil
now has gone into milk products for babies and into drugs for human treatment.
- We must act now, we must act fast and we must act decisively
Most counterfeited products
Medicines (Pharmaceutical products)
Foods and Beverages