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KIGALI: Woman Arrested In Operations Against Skin Bleaching Cosmetics

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Rwanda National Police (RNP) Anti-Smuggling and Organised Crimes unit (ASOC) arrested a woman identified as Alice Uwurukundo, 30, in Gasabo District for allegedly dealing in the outlawed skin whitening cosmetics commonly known as Mukologo.

ASOC seized quantites of assorted skin bleaching lotions from the home of Urukundo located in Rukingu Village, Kagugu Cell, Kinyinya Sector.

Uwurukundo availed that she started selling the banned cosmetics three months ago. She added that she was being supplied two people, whom she did not disclosed.

“I was buying quantities of skin whitening cosmetics from one dealer operating in Gicumbi District, who was trafficking them into Rwanda from Uganda and others from another dealer operating in Nyamasheke District, who was sneaking them into the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),” said Uwurukundo.

Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Africa Sendahangarwa Appolo, the RNP Deputy spokesperson said that the suspect was arrested following information provided by the local residents in Kagugu.

“Police have works with the public to identify and crackdown people, who deal in such outlawed products. Uwurukundo was arrested in the morning of Thursday at her home where she was operating her illegal business,” said CSP Africa.

CSP Sendahangarwa thanked residents who reported the suspect and called for stronger cooperation and reporting people, who sell skin bleaching products.

Side effects

The outlawed creams and oil brands contain chemicals such as mercury and hydroquinone, which can cause liver damage, reduce resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, and increase anxiety, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

If it enters the bloodstream, it also results into fatal liver and kidney damage, although medics say the most immediate visible side effect is skin scarring.

Health experts confirm that prolonged use of corticosteroid creams and lotions can also decrease levels of collagen in the skin.

Collagen strengthens and supports the skin, and a reduced amount can increase the risk of striae commonly known as stretch marks.

Legal framework

Article 266 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person, who produces, sells, or prescribes harmful products; cosmetics or body hygiene substance or any other products derived from plants, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Frw3 million and not more than Frw5 million or one of these penalties.

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Crime

Kakwenza Granted Bail

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Ugandan Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has been granted bail after several weeks in detention accused of disturbing the peace of President Yoweri Museveni and his son Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba.

Kakwenza has been languishing at Kitalya prison where his lawyer Eron Kiiza indicated that the novelist had been tortured while in custody and needed to be released on bail so he could access proper medical treatment.

Award-winning Ugandan novelist Rukirabashaija has been charged with two counts of “offensive communication” after making unflattering remarks about the president and his son on Twitter.

The prosecution alleged that he had “used his Twitter handle to disturb the peace” of President Yoweri Museveni and his son Lt-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Mr Rukirabashaija pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rukirabashaija had also tweeted that “the Musevenis have imposed enormous suffering on this country”. Last year, he won the Pen Pinter Prize for an international writer of courage.

‘Greedy Barbarian’ Novelist Paraded In Court For Mocking Museveni

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‘Greedy Barbarian’ Novelist Paraded In Court For Mocking Museveni

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Emerging details indicate that a Ugandan Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was on Friday presented before Buganda Road court virtually to answer charges of mocking peace of President Yoweri Museveni.

Taarifa has learned that Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Douglas Singiza has remanded author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija till Tuesday next week when he will be able to rule on whether to grant him bail.

Kakwenza, now held on remand at Kitalya prison, appeared in court via video link to apply for bail.

His lawyer Eron Kiiza indicated that the accused had been tortured while in custody and needed to be released on bail so he could access proper medical treatment.

Kiiza also added that the case of computer misuse, for which he is accused, is available.

Award-winning Ugandan novelist Rukirabashaija has been charged with two counts of “offensive communication” after making unflattering remarks about the president and his son on Twitter.

The prosecution alleged that he had “used his Twitter handle to disturb the peace” of President Yoweri Museveni and his son Lt-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Mr Rukirabashaija pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rukirabashaija had also tweeted that “the Musevenis have imposed enormous suffering on this country”. Last year, he won the Pen Pinter Prize for an international writer of courage.

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija is best known for The Greedy Barbarian, a satirical novel which describes high-level corruption in a fictional country, and Banana Republic: Where Writing is Treasonous, an account of the torture he was subjected to while in detention in 2020.

Meanwhile, the  European Union (EU) and other rights bodies have piled pressure on the Kampala government demanding the unconditional release of Ugandan novelist.

“Uganda: I’m alarmed by reports of alleged torture and incommunicado detention of author [Rukirabashaija Kakwenza]. He remains in detention without trial, despite a court order for his unconditional release. I urge Ugandan authorities to uphold rule of law and due process,” twitted Mr Eamon Gilmore, the EU special representative for human rights.

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija Author Giving Museveni Sleepless Nights

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Crime

Huye Intermediate Court Begins Substantive Hearing Of Munyenyezi Genocide Case 

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Beatrice Munyenyezi, the woman suspected of crimes of Genocide against the Tutsi appeared before Huye Intermediate Court this Tueaday in the trial that has entered into substance.  

During the last hearing a week ago, the case was postponed for the second time due to the absence of lawyers.

As the case enters into substance, Munyenyezi, 51, will explain herself in detail on the charges of Genocide crime, conspiracy to commit genocide, planning of the genocide, complicity, and incitement to commit genocide, and complicity in rape.

While the accused is detained at Mageregere prison, the litigants, defense lawyers, and prosecutors’ rebuttals are heard by the Huye Intermediate court, the place she is said to have committed the crimes. 

Proceedings will be heard virtually to limit the spread of Covid-19. 

Munyenyezi is the first woman to be sent back home by the US government after she was convicted for having lied to immigration authorities to obtain the first asylum and then US citizenship, according to Justice Info Net.

Munyenyezi denied involvement in political affairs and Genocide preparation, but her marriage to Pauline Nyiramasuhuko’s son, Shalom Ntahobali, in 1993 marked her entrance into the ‘big league’ or commonly known as ‘Akazu’.

Rwandan prosecutors pin Munyenyezi for inciting Interahamwe to rape Tutsi women and girls but she has been denying the allegations in her pre-trial phase of the hearings saying she was “pregnant and weak at the time to engage in incitations.”

The report ‘When Women Become Killers’ released in 1995 indicate that Munyenyezi’s mother-in-law, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, began organizing massacres in (Butare) now Huye even before the murder of the Tutsi prefecture Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, who managed to prevent the massacres during the first two weeks of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Munyenyezi’s mother-in-law is reported to have boasted her role saying “If someone says that a woman, a mother killed, then I am ready to be confronted.”

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