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Religious leaders who defied presidential directives on COVID 19 face jail

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Religious leaders who defied presidential directives on COVID 19 face jail

Fr. kiibi Kateregga Deogratius

Pastor Augustine Iga of Revival Church Kampala has become the latest person and perhaps most prominent person to stand trial for violating the presidential directive against gatherings of any kind that were issued by the head of state two weeks ago.

Pastor Iga is set to be arraigned in court this morning before Mwanga II court at Kabakanjagala road near Bulange for making false utterances and passing harmful propaganda relating to the current #COVID19) pandemic in the country.

According to Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga, the actions of Pastor Iga, who has been detained at Old Kampala Police Station since Saturday, constitute “promote the spread of the COVID 19 and can therefore be considered as a direct attack on the people of the Republic of Uganda,”

Elsewhere, the Security Inter-Agency Joint Task Force in Mpigi arrested Fr. Deogratious Kiibi Kateregga for defying lawful orders. He is yet to be tried.

Also the force arrested two pastors and twenty-six of followers for defying the presidential directive banning religious gatherings in the country for 32 days as a measure of curbing the spread of COVID 19.

According to the Kampala metropolitan spokesperson Patrick Onyango, the suspects were picked from two places in Kampala Metropolitan Area where they had congregated for Sunday prayers, an act that can considered detrimental to public health for it can spread of the Coronavirus in the Country.

The suspects were identified as Pastor Immaculate Biyinzika of Praise Jesus Worship Church together with 20 worshippers from Makandwa Kajjansi in Wakiso District and are detained at Kajjansi Police Station.

Also Pastor Moses Baker of Alter Truth Ministries of Komamboga Kyanja was picked along with six followers by Intelligence Surveillance Team and is detained at Kira Road Police Station.

In a statement, Onyango noted that Pastor Biyinzika tried to resist arrest on defence that she was praying with only her family members at her home which is collocated with the Church.

However, Police found the Pastor collecting offertory and her congregation was far bigger than her residence could accommodate.

Onyango said ,the Joint Task Force is dedicated to the protection of and service to Ugandans.

He appealed to all Ugandans to join the national struggle to defeat COVID 19 pandemic in the country by following the preventive guideline issued by Government.

“We want to appreciate members of the public who are giving us vital information on places, institutions, and individuals who are trying to defy the directives aimed at protecting Ugandans from infection by COVID 29,”He added.

President Museveni last week banned any political, social, cultural and any other gatherings so as to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“It is wise that we temporary remove these concentration points to prevent the spread of coronavirus. All these institutions, without exception should close so that we deny this virus high concentration. We don’t want the virus to find dry grass ready for ignition,”Museveni said.

He explained that it is in the interest of the citizens’ health that they avoid gatherings which would be a fertile ground for the coronavirus to spread.

Despite warning by the president and Ministry of Health to avoid gatherings so as to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus, some members of the public including pastors have not heeded to the same.

However, police and the army have arrested a number of pastors and school heads who have refused to heed to the directives by the president.

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