UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has cautioned the public against deceptive traders who are taking advantage of the unstable commodity prices to swindle them.

The Bureau is concerned that many consumers are already falling victims to unscrupulous traders who are taking advantage of rising commodity prices in the country to either overcharge or manipulate the quantity and quality of commodities on the market.

Engineer John Paul Musimami, the Deputy Executive Director in Charge of Compliance at UNBS advises consumers to get more vigilant while purchasing goods from suppliers, to ensure that they get the right quantities and the quality they pay for.

He indicated that their inspection teams have learned of a trend of deceptive traders who are fond of cheating clients by making them purchase commodities at prices that are higher than they indicate on the display boards.

Musimami advised that while they engage the relevant Ministries and government departments to find a lasting solution to the habit in the business sector, the consumers also ought to be more alert and shun such dishonest traders as a possibility of stamping them out of business.

Jackson Mukisa, the Inspector in Charge of Standards and Measurements also pointed out that the deception habit has also been cited among traders of basic household communities, especially those that are prepackaged, whose quantities are compromised.

He asked consumers to always pay attention to every detail indicated on the packages of the commodities they purchase and always report any form of falsification they may detect for possible actions.

Engineer Musimani, said that the Bureau is currently working on amendments in the 1965 Weights and Measures law, to reinforce their field operations as well as cater for the latest measurements equipment that was not captured in the current law.

He added that besides making the law more punitive to offenders, the proposed amendments also intend to create uniformity with the East African community and international measurement standards.

Digitization of metrology services

As the country marked World Metrology Day under the theme, “Metrology in the Digital Era”, UNBS revealed that it had completed the digitization of four metrology services in an effort to ensure fairness in trade and precision of measurements in the industry.

Among the digitized services include E-Minzaani, an Information Management System aimed at streamlining the adoption of Mobile Technologies as a tool to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and control of the use of both electronic and mechanical measuring instruments such as Counter Scales, Spring balances, Platform Scales and Weights used in trade.

Moreover, UNBS has deployed the Metrology Laboratory Information Management System (METLIMS) which enables clients to access the National Metrology Laboratory (NML) Calibration services online, regardless of their location.

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