Immigration officers on Sunday arrested and held Paul Mubiru, the 26-year-old man who sold nsenene (grasshopper delicacy) aboard Uganda Airlines Flight 446 on Friday.
In a swift move that most passengers didn’t even notice because it was executed by immigration and not police officers, Mubiru was arrested immediately after his flight from Dubai landed at Entebbe at 11:49am.
The now ‘famous’ vendor was arrested after being swabbed on the airport airside by medical workers for the mandatory Covid-19 test that all incoming passengers must undergo.
The two hawk-eyed immigration officers who had been waiting and were already eyeing Mubiru, pounced on him as soon as his sample was taken and whisked him off into a waiting car on the tarmac, driving him out of the airport without his going through any entry procedures.
None of the relevant agencies like Civil Aviation Authority, Uganda Airlines, or Uganda Police had issued any statement by 1549 hrs, four hours after Mubiru was picked up.
IT is also not yet known if any of his collaborators in airport security who enabled him to carry the large kaveera aboard the aircraft have been arrested. However, legal experts have questioned the immigration Officers actions noting that Mubiru committed no offence when he was filmed while vending his nsenene to excited passengers on a parked plane.
” We shall move to challenge Uganda Airlines and Uganda Civil Aviation Authority in court about their illegal actions to detain a bonafide traveler who paid for a Uganda Airline ticket and has a right to exchange goods on board a parked aircraft . He didn’t breach any safety rules and indeed he was cleared all through the security checks at the airport . this is not good for Uganda Airlines Public Relations ,” A city lawyer who declined to be named told this publication.
Mbiru’s arrest is ironical in a sense that earlier Uganda Airlines had issued a statement in which they said the national carrier would add nsenene on their menu for regional and international flights on request .
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