Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has come under fire for banning travellers from taking pictures or recording videos at Entebbe International Airport.
While UCAA spokesperson, Mr Vianney Luggya, said this is not a new guideline and should not be misconceived, a cross section of the public took to social media to accuse the aviation authorities of attempting to hide corruption tendencies.
Conrad tweeted: “If I may ask is that going to solve the problem of asking money from people or it’s protecting them workers? This country……Just better come back tomorrow otherwise….”
Daniel Kawuma added: “The solution to problems Ugandans face under NRM is to prohibit whistleblowers from exposing them. Camera footage and photos have been banned at Entebbe airport with immediate effect. Why solve problems if you can’t find out they exist?”
Novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija said: “Shame has been turned into anger.”
Sandra Twesigye tweeted: “UCAA, thank you for spearheading corruption in this country!!! What is wrong with getting videos if u are so competent about what you are doing. By all means, videos of those doing wrong must be got, photos must be taken. Courts shall decide.”
Trent added: “So in short UCAA strongly supports corruption and stands in solidarity with the corrupt staff of Entebbe Airport, FYI Entebbe airport is a public facility where the use of cameras can’t be prohibited whatsoever.”
Prof Mujuzi Jamil said: “This is archaic and meant to facilitate corruption. In many countries you can use your phone (record videos and take photos) anywhere at the airport.”
But Luggya on Thursday said “It has always been illegal to take pictures or videos in restricted areas of the airport’s terminal building without getting prior permission. Even journalists who access the terminal building for official coverage of activities first go through a formal clearance process before they can be allowed to take photos and videos of specific areas/activities.”
Mr Luggya said: “For the complaints, we only need an indication of what may have happened on a particular day and the matter is investigated with reference to CCTV footage, among others. Gathering of evidence doesn’t have to be done with breaking of another Regulation.”
This comes days after at least 26 airport staff were fired over corruption following revelations that they were taking bribes from travellers.
On Wednesday, Parliament put the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala, to task to explain the alleged corruption at the airport.