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More arrested in swoop on Kampala butcheries

Some of the chemicals used by butchers to perserve meat in Kampala. Public health officials believe the concoction is formalin. PHOTO KCCA MEDIA

Six butchers remanded over treating meat with chemical suspected to be formalin, a preservative for dead bodies.

Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Six people were Friday remanded to Luzira Prison over allegations of spraying meat and fish with harmful preservative chemicals.

The six appeared before Kampala City Hall Court Grade One Magistrate Beatrice Khainza and pleaded guilty to causing a nuisance.

These are Erias Kafumbe, Isa Ssenoga , Isma Mutebi, Umar Kalyango, Baker Mulondo and Ibrahim Ssekitto who were  arrested on Wednesday and Thursday from areas of Nakasero Market, Nakulabye and Ntinda Market  during an operation by KCCA health and  law enforcement officers.

During the said operation, it was established that the accused spray harmful chemicals on both fish and meat they sell to the public in order to chase away and kill flies.

According to a KCCA prosecutor, the suspects are likely to face two years imprisonment or pay a fine of not less than sh180, 000.

They return to court on January 10, 2018 for sentencing. 

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Wednesday started conducting a joint operation in which they recovered dangerous chemicals used by butchers to preserve meat and keep off flies, which poses a health risk to consumers.

The fact-finding mission to check the compliance of butcher’s shops with the required public health standards led to the closure of nine butcheries around Kalerwe, Kampala

 Following their arrest, one of the men found with the chemical confessed they were using the drugs to keep the meat fresh and keep away flies.

Reports that butchers in Kampala treat their meat with formalin, a preservative for dead bodies, has been making rounds for years.

Formalin is a liquid drug manufactured to preserve dead tissues by killing the bacterium that causes decay. The drug is used together with other chemicals to embalm dead bodies.

Formalin has a pungent smell that is detectable and if one uses it to preserve food. It is used in very low quantities that can sometimes be unnoticeable.

One comment

  1. One of the major problems in Uganda with addressing criminality is absence of deterrent court sentences, archaic laws, political interference, and corruption among the law enforcement officers at all levels. Criminals have made it a habit to go to Luzira prison, sleep there for a few days or weeks while feeding on free posho or are fined very little money, then they come back to continue in their criminality. If the sentences or fines were deterrent enough, would be criminals would be dissuaded from engaging in the same. For example, these people in the story, caught red-handed while poisoning innocent Ugandans, will go through the court system very quickly and will be back in their old trade. Surely, how can a two years imprisonment term be equivalent to Sh180, 000 fine?. Such an offence should attract a deterrent sentence surely. No wonder the criminals can easily plead guilty.

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