By Patrick Jaramogi
THE Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has closed Desbro Uganda Limited, a store that sells food preservatives and industrial chemicals.
The exercise, which followed an order from the tourism, trade and industry minister, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, was conducted by a team of officials led by the bureauâ€™s executive director, Dr. Terry Kahuma, on Wednesday.
â€œThe minister rang me last night and ordered that the place be closed. The exercise is meant to pave way for a comprehensive forensic audit,â€ said Kahuma.
A consignment of expired assorted chemicals worth sh800m were discovered in three stores at Plot 60-54 on Sixth Street in Industrial Area, Kampala.
Kahuma described them as â€œa hazard to human lifeâ€.
The items, some catalogued in drums, boxes and tins, were sorted by the experts and stored in separate stores.
â€œI have discovered serious anomalies,â€ said Kahuma. â€œMost of the chemical labels were tampered with. The items lack manufacturing and expiry dates.â€ He said experts from various government departments would be asked to verify the items.
Kahuma ordered Desbroâ€™s to stop repacking and selling all their products until a thorough inspection was conducted.
Desbro marketing chief S.K Kumar, however, said the expired items were due for destruction.
â€œJust like a supermarkets, we can also have expired goods,â€ he said.
UNBS quality assurance manager Deus Mubangizi said despite a worldwide ban on the use of Sodium Saccharine for food industries, Desbro had 50 drums, which they were selling to food manufacturers.