Two Face Seven Years in Jail Over Uganda Airlines Grasshopper Incident

A 27 year old Ugandan, alleged to have sold grasshoppers aboard Uganda Airlines flight No UR446 with three counts, and one who captured the video have been arrested for onward prosecution.

Paul Mubiru was seen in a viral video hawking grasshoppers, popularly known as nsenene, on Uganda Airline while Hajib Kiggundu Hajib, 25 took the video. They were both arrested by Aviation Police at Entebbe International Airport yesterday.

Police slammed three offences against them with one fetching seven years in jail on conviction. Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said they are being charged for common nuisance, refusal to follow a lawful instruction given by the aircraft crew member contrary to the Civil Aviation Security Regulation 2012, and negligent acts likely to cause the spread of an infectious disease.

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“The suspects went against the standard inflight instructions and started vending fried grasshoppers. They also defied one of the cabin crew members who approached and asked them to stop the illegal act and take their seats,” Enanga said.

Paul Mubiru

“In addition, despite the pre-flight Covid tests and mandatory use of facemasks, the passengers posed another safety risk, when they removed their masks and were shouting at the top of their voices,” he added.

The Ministry of Health guidelines against the spread of Covid-19 indicates that people are supposed to wear their masks in public places to control the transmission of the virus.

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Those found flouting the Covid-19 regulation are often charged under Section 171 of the Penal Code Act of negligent act likely to spread infection of disease. It attracts a seven-year sentence on conviction.

No one in Uganda has ever been sentenced to jail for that long since the Covid-19 pandemic broke in 2019. The offence of common nuisance attracts a year in jail on conviction while the other of refusal to follow a lawful instruction given by the aircraft crew member contrary to Regulation 51(b) of the Civil Aviation Security Regulation 2012 amounts to a fine of not exceeding 72 currency points (Shs1,440,000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both.

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