Two face 7 years in jail over airlines grasshopper incident 

 A video grab of a man filmed hawking grasshoppers (nsenene pictured) aboard Dubai-bound Uganda Airlines plane at Entebbe Intentional Airport last Friday. PHOTO / COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Paul Mubiru, 27, was captured in a viral video vending the grasshoppers, popularly known as nsenene, on Uganda Airline while Hajib Kiggundu Hajib, 25, who took the video, was arrested by Aviation Police at Entebbe International Airport yesterday.

A Ugandan, alleged to have vended grasshoppers on Uganda Airlines, and one who captured the video have been arrested and face seven years in jail.

Paul Mubiru, 27, was captured in a viral video vending the grasshoppers, popularly known as nsenene, on Uganda Airline while Hajib Kiggundu Hajib, 25, who took the video, was arrested by Aviation Police at Entebbe International Airport yesterday.

Police have slapped three offences against them with one fetching seven years in jail on conviction.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the duo is facing charges of 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.

“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,’’ Mr Enanga said.

“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 indicate that people are supposed to wear their masks in public places to control the transmission of the virus. 

The law

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 a disease. It attracts a seven-year sentence on conviction.

However, no one in Uganda has ever been sentenced to jail for that long since the Covid-19 pandemic started 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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