Sure Deal boss charged with selling cancer causing cosmetics and forging UNBS Quality mark

It might have been either your wife, sister, mother, grandmother, daughter or in-law who experienced a burning, severe skin redness, stinging, skin dryness, cracking, blisters or bleeding after using a cream or lotion.


These are signs of creams that are imminent in market across the country that contains Hydroquinone, a chemical that was banned by the standards watch Dog, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, (UNBS). These creams have been reported to cause cancer of the skin. Through relevant documents seen by our reporter we can reveal that top on the ban list is Sure Deal Cosmetics, which contains the UNBS banned importation and selling of cosmetics containing hydroquinone and mercury ingredients.  Sure Deal products are among the list of 100 banned products listed by UNBS which are not safe for human usage in the form of lotions, soap and skin creams.

Charged With Possession Of Products Not Fit For Human Consumption

This is the second time that Cosmetics dealer, Sure Deal proprietor Namwanje Maria Prossy aka Mama Lususu, was charged for forging the UNBS Q Mark to sell her products. The UNBS Act, as amended compels the agency to safeguard required standards in relation to the quality of products that are put on the market. In the last 10 years, there has been a rapid growth in the importation of substandard products that are not only dangerous to human life but present huge economic challenges. According to UNBS, a number of crèmes and soaps that are used in skin lightening contain hydroquinone. The products, which also can help to clear dark skin patches, liver spots and age or pregnancy spots have a number of side effects, including skin discoloration, mild burning and skin dryness. Mercury products, which also have functions similar to those of hydroquinone products, have the potential to damage inner organs such as the kidney and skin scaring. Mercury, which is also used as a preservative in a number of products such as eye makeup cleansing and mascara, has the potential to cause long term effects if used in excess.


Bailed out On Shs300m Non Cash

The Sure Deal boss Mama Lususu sweated plasma at the Buganda Road Court on Monday January 14 as five counts were read for her. Initially, Namwanje was charged with three counts but an additional two charges were made to amend the charge sheet to five counts. Reading the charges to Mama Lususu, the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, said three of the counts are similar. These include applying the UNBS Q (Quality) mark without permission of UNBS contravening sections 26(i)b, and 27(i)b of UNBS as amended. The Judge told the accused that on February 2 2018 the accused in and around Buganda Road  along plot 2127, Buganda Road in Kampala sold several brands of the Sure Deal Cosmetics products worth 1595.8kgs bearing the UNBS Q Mark, without permission of UNBS. Namwanje was also charged under count number three and four for applying the UNBS Q mark illegally and for being in possession of commodities not approved for human usage contravening sections 21 (i), 26 (ii), 27 (ii) and 29 of the UNBS as amended


Lawyer Presents Three Sureties

The accused’s lawyer, Tumwesigye Wycliffe presented three sureties who included the accused’s sister a one Namujju Alice aged 40 a housewife and resident of Masanafu, a Kampala Suburb, a friend, Annet who works as a sales executive with Vision Group, and her brother, an evangelist, Douglas Ssemujju aged 31 and resident of Buganda Road Flats. There was drama when the state Prosecutor objected the bail application and threw out the third surety, Douglas Ssemujju for providing false information regarding his place of abode. Ssemujju when being quizzed on his residence said he was a residence of Block 226 level two Buganda Road Flats yet the LC1 chairpersons letter indicated that he was a resident of Block 662. After he was rejected as a surety, Ssemujju later confessed that he was a resident of Block 662.

“It is a right for any accused to get bail. Much as you have said the accused has means to interfere with investigations, and has a habit of approaching leading personalities to “kill” the case, the court has failed to have enough evidence to support this claims,” said the judge. “And the fact that it has taken you a whole year to conclude the investigations, yet you are competent, means denying the accused bail can’t be fair.” “I thus grant the accused bail on condition that the sureties are bonded for a noncash bail of shs100 million and the accused, a cash bail of sh2 million. The National ID of all the sureties will also remain in the custody of court for further investigations,” said the Magistrate.

The judge adjourned the case for mention until February 6 2019

Banned cosmetics by UNBS

Uniderm Soap

Rico Soap

Mekako Soap

Top Claire Plus Lotion


Beauty Lotion

Mekako Cream


Claire Cream

Fair & White Lightening Cream

Lady Claire Soap

UNBS swings into action

UNBS raided and impounded assorted cosmetics items worth Shs300 million from Sure Deal Beauty Centre Limited on February 2. In a raid on the company, UNBS officers discovered that the cosmetics seller was illegally using the UNBS quality mark in addition to selling banned products ‘in contravention of the UNBS Act and the Uganda Standards on specifications for Petroleum Jelly (US191) and general requirements for labelling cosmetics (US 346).’

Her work

Maama Lususu is quick to deny claims that her creams bleach the skin.

“Like the Lebanese taught me, I only use fruit ingredients. How can fruits lighten skin? Women come to me with worn-out skins, asking for lightening creams but I educate them on the disadvantages.

When a woman develops dark patches, my first remedy is to return the skin to its original colour. From low income earners to corporate women, a flawless skin is trendy. Unfortunately, these women do not read the label on the tin.  “It is wrong to use a hand lotion on the body. Cosmetics come in sets. There are those for the face, the hands, feet and the body. Because our roads are dusty, the skin pores get blocked and only a skin shampoo can open them.”


UNBS Executive Director, Dr. Ben Manyindo, said: “We have published a list of brands that failed our compliance tests because we would like to encourage the public to look out for them and shun them while we continue to play our role of seizing them from the market to protect the health and safety of consumers”. “Products that fail our compliance tests are seized from the market, kept in our warehouses for further management and/or destruction. We recently destroyed more than 400 metric tonnes of substandard products worth Shs3.5 billion,” Dr. Manyindo said. The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a statutory body responsible for developing and promoting standards and quality of products and services to facilitate fair trade, promote local industries and protect consumers.

The brands that have failed the UNBS compliance tests include:

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