Police holds three over smoking, dealing in Shisha

Police are holding three suspects who were arrested during an operation conducted in bars selling Shisha.

According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesman, Luke Owoyesigyire the operation was conducted in conjunction with the Uganda National Health Consumers Organization (UNHCO) recently.

Owoyesigyire identified the suspects as; the manager of Casablanca night club, Robel Nguse together with two of his clients Kenneth Wasswa and Amir Tumusiime who were found smoking Shisha.

Owoyesigyire said the suspects’ file is now ready and any time they will be presented before the courts of law to face charges of smoking Shisha and being in possession of Shisha equipment.

Moses Talibita, the UNHCO legal officer told New Vision that this was the second time they were carrying out a similar operation at Casablanca night club from the first one which was conducted in 2016.

“During the first operation we just confiscated the Shisha smoking equipment and served the management with a warning.

Unfortunately, the refused to stop trading in Shisha and it’s the reason why this time we have decided to also arrest and charge the manager as well,” he said.

At The Hive Night Club, the police did not find any person smoking Shisha or any Shisha equipment but found three pictures of people smoking Shisha pinned on the walls.

The pictures were as well confiscated and taken as exhibits because they were promoting Shisha smoking.

Talibita said the Tobacco Control Act 2015 (TCA) which became operational on May 17, 2016 banned the sell, smoking, promotion and importation of Shisha, electronic cigarettes and Kuber whereas it regulated the sell and consumption of normal cigarettes.

Talibita said according to TCA, smoking is not allowed in offices, public areas like night clubs, bars, toilets, lifts, court buildings, police and prisons stations, inside any roof, health and education facilities, places of worship, among others.

He said smoking must be conducted 50 meters away from the above listed places. Talibita highlighted that a person below 21 years of age is not allowed to be involved in any tobacco related activities including sell, transportation and consumption.

“According to the Act, a convicted tobacco user and its products consumer is fined a sum of Sh 240,000 or imprisonment for a year or both. For the seller, he is fined a sum of Sh 20M or even the withdrawal of the business license,” he noted.

Moses Kiriggwajjo, the UNHCO health programs manager said they started their operations together with the Police in Kampala, Mukono and Jinja districts.

Kiriggwajjo said those districts have got many universities and schools which have young people who can easily be taken up by Shisha smoking without looking at its effects as they only mind about their lifestyle.

He said Shisha smoking is so harmful even more than normal cigarettes.

Kiriggwajjo adds, “It as well affects equally the person around the area where it is smoked. Following the increase of cancer, heart, lung and other respiratory diseases, we decided to help the innocent Ugandans by enforcing TCA.”

Written by: Henry Nsubuga on New Vision.

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