Fred Enanga, the spokesperson of Uganda Police Force says Paul Mubiru and Hajib Kiggundu have been charged on three counts, that is common nuisance behaviour, negligence and refusal to follow lawful inflight instructions.
The police has today charged Paul Mubiru and Hajib Kiggundu on three counts. this stems on an incident where Mubiru was seen selling grasshoppers, a local delicacy known as Nsenene, aboard Uganda Airlines last Friday.
Fred Enanga, the spokesperson of Uganda Police Force says the duo have been charged on three counts, that is common nuisance behaviour, negligence and refusal to follow lawful inflight instructions.
Both young men deal in phone accessories.
They have been charged with negligence act likely to cause the spread of an infectious disease to wit COVID-19 Pandemic contrary to Section 171 of the Penal Code Act, 1950, and common nuisance, contrary to Section 160 of the Penal Code Act behaviour while on board. They are also accused of refusing to follow lawful instructions while on Board contrary to Civil Aviation security regulations, 2012.
Security officers arrested Mubiru and Kiggundu on Sunday when they arrived from Dubai aboard Uganda Airlines flight 445.
The duo departed from Entebbe Airport on Friday night aboard Uganda Airlines flight 446.
As some passengers were boarding, Mubiru in a video that went viral on social media over the weekend, was seen selling grasshoppers from a big blue polyethylene bag on Board. He would scoop a handful of grasshoppers and pack them in a transparent polyethylene bag at 10,000 Shillings. The video, according to Enanga was recorded by Kiggundu who later on shared it on Tiktok and other social media platforms, drawing criticism and praise from the general public.
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Enanga says that while passengers are allowed to carry grasshoppers as carry-on luggage or baggage, Mubiru acted illegally by selling the grasshoppers on board. Mubiru and Kiggundu also allegedly refused to follow inflight instructions.
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Enanga thereby says that they will face the law because their "disruptive behaviour" has not only tainted the image of the airline but also that of the country.
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Mubiru and Kiggundu were released on police Bond last night and are expected to report back to Aviation Police station tomorrow morning.
Kampala City Traders Association-KACITA legal officer, Jemba Mulondo, says the association is in talks with Uganda Airlines over the matter.
"We want to talk to these traders and ensure that they make a public apology during the week because we are all ashamed of what they did," Mulondo says.
He however declined to comment on whether or not KACITA will help defend the traders in court.
However, Thaddeus Musoke, the chairman KACITA told our reporter that traders will hold a meeting this week to discuss the way forward for Mubiru and Kiggundu.
"Their behaviour should not go unpunished," Musoke said. "They were unruly on Board and this does not reflect well on the association."
Some of the traders who traveled with Mubiru and
Kiggundu on Friday and also on Sunday told police officers at the
airport that the duo misbehaved while on Board. They noted that close to
40 of the passengers in the economy class section had carried Nsenene
in their hand luggage.
we were disappointed after we saw Mubiru selling Nsenene to other
passengers, when we tried to stop him, he refused," one of the traders told our reporter.
The same vendor added, " Even two airline crew members tried to stop them but they continued misbehaving."
trader noted that it was only until the pilot asked Mubiru and Kiggundu
to sit down that the duo complied with the inflight instructions.
As a result, some of the traders say, the duo have embarrassed their association and deserve to be punished.
Meanwhile, some of the traders want Mubiru and Kiggundu pardoned, saying they were trying to earn a living.
They say the government should pardon the duo who have apologised. They apologized on Saturday.