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Taking photos banned at Entebbe Airport after staff bribery videos are leaked

Uganda’s Directorate of Immigration has banned passengers traveling through the Entebbe International Airport from taking photos and videos on the premises.

This comes days after the airport was embroiled in a corruption scandal after videos and photos of airport staff allegedly asking passengers for bribes were leaked.

The move is a response to several corruption allegations at Entebbe International Airport that were on various social media platforms including WhatsApp and Tik Tok last week.

The new measures also come after an emergency meeting between immigration officials and the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) among other agencies at the airport on Friday last week.

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Last month, social media platforms, especially Twitter and TikTok, were awash with videos of several Ugandans complaining about cases of extortions travellers who use the airport are subjected to.

In one case, an employee at the airport is said to have pocketed $10,000 to facilitate a passenger illegally travel to Brazil in January.

A notice at Entebbe International Airport prohibiting passengers from taking pictures. PHOTO | COURTESY.

According to the Daily Monitor, the passenger had incomplete documents, but a National Aviation Services (NAS) employee demanded a bribe to aid the traveller to board the flight.

In another case, a staffer was also implicated of attempting to seek a kickback to allow a passenger to add more luggage to their carry-on items without payments. The woman has since been terminated from the job.

There are more women employees caught seeking bribes, with at least 17 of the 26 culprits.

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In a statement released following several complaints of extortion and missed flights at Uganda’s only international Airport, the aviation authority said it does not in any way condone such acts (extortion) and that where such incidents have happened, it is “highly regrettable and unacceptable.”

Following the extortion claims, all staff at the airport will be required to wear their name tags for easy identification.

UCAA has also re-instated a 2021 directive to the airport staff banning use of personal mobile phones while on duty.

Uganda is the 144 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International.

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