A 35-year-old businesswoman has been charged with selling farmers fake agricultural chemicals.
Evalyn Kunahimbire, the suspect, was charged with creating a counterfeiting trademark, selling items with fraudulent trademarks, and falsely applying for trademarks before the Buganda Road Grade One Magistrates Court.
Kunahimbire, a resident of Matugga town council in Wakiso district, was charged with counterfeiting Weed Master, a herbicide commonly used to control perennial weeds and whose brand belongs to Bukoola Chemical Industries Ltd, in a court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Marion Mangeni.
The court also heard that Kunahimbire falsely applied for a registered trademark knowing that the Weed Master brand was already registered, and that he did so with the aim to mislead, according to the prosecution.
The accused, however, rejected the charges and requested bail. Kunahimbire had been in police detention for five days, and her counsel, George Kayondo, told the court that she needed to return home to care for her breastfeeding baby, with whom she appeared in court. Kayondo further claimed that the defendant has a fixed address and that she has substantial sureties in the form of her cousin brothers.
The prosecution had objected to Kunahimbire’s bail application, claiming that the sureties did not know the accused’s specific address and that granting her bail would make it difficult to track her down if she fled the trial. However, the presiding magistrate set her bail at one million shillings in cash, with each of her two sureties required to pay a bond cost of 50 million shillings in cash.
According to records, Kunahimbire was apprehended in Kampala during a joint operation by the Anti Counterfeit Network Africa, Uganda Police Force, and Bukoola Industries Limited. Kunahimbire was subsequently transported to the Criminal Investigations Department of Police headquarters, where she remained until she was arraigned in court.