Mubiru Paul, a 27-year-old, businessman, dealing in phone accessories and resident of Nsambya Kevina, and Kiggundu Hajib, a 25-year-old, businessman, also dealing in phone accessories, and resident of Masanafu, Rubaga division face three charges of being a common nuisance C/S 160 of the Penal Code Act, refusal to follow a lawful instruction, given by the aircraft crew member, contrary to Regulation 51(b), of the Civil Aviation Security Regulation 2012, and for negligent acts likely to cause the spread of an infectious disease, for selling grasshoppers aboard a Uganda Airlines flight.
The duo was charged by the Aviation Security at Entebbe International Airport, following a video that went viral on social media, showing the two men selling grasshoppers aboard the Uganda Airlines flight No UR446, from Entebbe to Dubai.
According to Fred Enanga the Police spokesperson, the facts indicate that Mubiru Paul, was permitted to carry grasshoppers in his hand luggage.
The National Civil Association Security program, Appendix 5 and the Airport Security Program, Appendix 10, indicate that grasshoppers are not a prohibited item on the aircraft. They are deemed safe to carry.
“Surprisingly, instead of properly storing his luggage in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of him, Mubiru Paul, opened his hand luggage and started vending the fried grasshoppers, which attracted scenes of excitement and also disrupted other passengers. The illegal vending exercise was recorded by his associate, Kiggundu Hajib, and shared on various social media platforms” Enanga says.
He reminded all passengers and members of the public to always adhere to the in-flight safety rules, which require passengers to take their seats, remain calm and wear their seatbelts during take-off and or landing.
“In this respect, the suspects went against the standard inflight instructions and started vending fried grasshoppers. They also defied one of the cabin crew members approached and asked them to stop the illegal act and take their seats. The only sales allowed are in-flight convenient or food items that are cleared and strictly sold by the cabin crew members” Enanga added.
He noted that despite the pre-flight Covid tests and mandatory use of face masks, the passengers posed another safety risk, when they removed their masks and were shouting at the top of their voices.
“All passengers and the public should know that in this era, any disruptive behaviour or unbecoming behaviour, has a potential of being captured on videos, by any other member of the public or CCTV. In addition, such forms of misbehaviour on the plane, can cause for the removal of any passenger from the plane, by the pilot or captain”.