Two traders charged for vending grasshoppers aboard Uganda Airlines

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Fried Nsenene

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uganda Police has charged Paul Mubiru and Hajib Kiggundu on three counts for vending seasonal edible grasshoppers aboard Uganda Airlines.

This stems from an incident where Mubiru was seen selling seasonal edible grasshoppers, a local delicacy known as Nsenene, aboard Uganda Airlines on Friday 26, November 2021.

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 Paul Mubiru, a 27-year-old businessman and resident of Nsambya Kevina and Hajib Kiggundu, a 25-year-old and resident of Masanafu, Rubaga Division on Sunday 28th when they arrived from Dubai aboard Uganda Airlines flight 445.

The duo departed from Entebbe Airport on Friday 26th 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.

Man filmed selling seasonal edible grasshoppers (Nsenene) aboard Uganda Airlines

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.

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.

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.

Mubiru and Kiggundu were released on police bond and are expected to report back to Aviation Police station today morning.

Nsenene hawker aboard Uganda Airlines arrested at Entebbe Airport
Paul Mubiru is in custody for selling edible grasshoppers locally known as Nsenene aboard Uganda Airlines flight

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, 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.”