Ugandan authorities have charged a controversial pastor who is accused of telling his congregation that there is no coronavirus in Africa.
Prosecutors accuse Augustine Yiga of making the comments to the Revival Christian Church congregation on Friday, in comments carried by local television stations which is contrary to Section 171 of Penal Code Act.
He denied the charges.
“Claiming that Covid-19 doesn’t exist in Africa and Uganda undermines government efforts in fighting the epidemic and exposes the public to great danger of laxity in observing the guidelines on its control and prevention,” Uganda police spokesman Patrick Onyango is quoted by AFP news agency as saying.
The pastor faces a jail term of up to seven years.
Uganda has reported 33 cases of the virus.
Uganda Begins two-Week Lockdown
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has announced a raft of strict measures lasting just over two weeks, to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.
In a televised national address on Monday evening, he announced a ban on private vehicle use, which would mean anyone needing emergency medical care will need to ask a high-level district official for permission before leaving their home.
Market traders selling food will also have to live close to their stalls for this period and cannot go back home.
Uganda has 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus but officials say numbers will rise.
Strict rules on public gatherings are already being enforced. Schools have been closed and public transport banned.
Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni has promised food donations for people who have lost their income under the new restrictions. But he’s ordered the police to arrest politicians who offer food hand-outs to communities and for them to be charged with attempted murder.