A Rwandan national, Jaan De Dieu Mbonimpa, has been arrested in Kabale District on charges of operating an unlicensed Marishari Soft Drink manufacturing facility. Mbonimpa, hailing from Nyagatare district in Rwanda, was taken into custody earlier this week for conducting his operations without the necessary permits, including a working permit, certification from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and a public health certification. In addition, he was found with a counterfeit certificate from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), posing a risk to consumer safety.
The soft drink production was taking place in Kyanamira Parish, Kyanamira Sub County, within Kabale District. The operation to apprehend Mbonimpa was led by local authorities, including the District Internal Security Officer, Reuben Mutabazi, the Kabale District Senior Environment Officer, Evas Asiimwe, the Kigezi Region Police Environmental Protection Officer, Sam Kyomukama, and the Assistant District Health Officer, Environmental Health, Oliver Namanya.
Kabale Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Godfrey Nyakahuma, confirmed the arrest and expressed concern over Mbonimpa’s misleading claims about the drink’s curative properties for ulcers, liver issues, leukemia, cough, and increased libido. Nyakahuma accused Mbonimpa of operating without a working permit and certifications from NEMA and Public Health, further highlighting the possession of a forged UNBS certificate, which jeopardized consumer safety.
Assistant District Health Officer, Environmental Health, Oliver Namanya, emphasized that the production process was unhygienic, putting consumers at risk of diseases such as diarrhea, cancers, and other abdominal ailments.
Evas Asiimwe, the Kabale District Senior Environment Officer, revealed that the suspect had been conducting business without the necessary approvals from NEMA and the Public Health Act.
Mbonimpa, 29, claimed to have started the business a month ago after obtaining an operating license from Kyanamira sub-county officials. However, RDC Nyakahuma recommended the immediate revocation of this license.
At the time of his arrest, Mbonimpa stated that he had produced over 200 cartons of Marishari Soft Drinks. When asked about the ingredients, he mentioned honey, ginger, rosemary, citric acid, tea culture, and sodium benzoate.
The suspect is reported to have supplied the soft drink to various areas, including Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale, Kisoro, Rukiga, and Rukungiri, among others. Authorities are urging consumers to exercise caution and report any suspicious activities related to food and beverage production.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com