Traders in Teso aim arrows at counterfeit goods

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Traders in Teso aim arrows at counterfeit goods
Muwema (far-right) led MP Ebwalu and team in rallying voices against counterfeit goods

Traders in Teso have thrown their weight behind the Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill (ACGB) 2023, calling for a 10-year imprisonment term for individuals dealing in counterfeit products.

This move comes as the proponents of the Private Members Bill, led by Asuman Basalirwa (MP for Bugiri) and Jonathan Ebwalu (MP for Soroti City West), held a baraza in Soroti on Thursday, organised in collaboration with The Anti-Counterfeit Network.

The public hearing, attended by hundreds of residents, was a resounding success, with participants sharing their personal experiences and struggles with counterfeit products.

Many recounted stories of loved ones who had fallen victim of this products even with health due to consumption of counterfeit goods.

"We have lost many lives to counterfeit products, and it's time we take action. We support the ACGB 2023 and demand harsh penalties for those dealing in counterfeit goods," said a local resident, echoing the sentiments of many in attendance.

Locals say the ACGB 2023 anti-counterfeit laws, if introduced with harsher penalties for offenders, including a 10-year imprisonment term and hefty fines will save many.

The bill also aims to strengthen enforcement mechanisms and raise awareness about the dangers of counterfeit goods, according to Ebwalu, who believes this bill is a crucial step in that direction.

"We are committed to fighting counterfeit goods, and we believe this bill is a crucial step in that direction. We urge all stakeholders to support us in this fight," he said.

Mr Fred Muwema, the Anti-Counterfeit Network founder and chief executive, however, blames locals for being negligent in counterfeit products.

He says this bill is the only answer to deal with parameters .

"Counterfeit products have ravaged our community, causing untold suffering and loss We demand stronger laws to protect our people and our businesses," said Muwema.

The Anti-Counterfeit Network commended the people of Teso Bugisu for their overwhelming support.

"The fight against counterfeit goods requires a collective effort," he added.

The public hearing in Soroti is part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and garner support for the ACGB 2023.

The proponents of the bill are engaging with communities, businesses, and policymakers to ensure a collective effort in combating the scourge of counterfeit goods.

As the bill moves forward, locals hope that that it will bring about much-needed change and protect the people of Teso and beyond from the harmful effects of counterfeit products.

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