Pastor Augustine YIga of Revival Church Kawaala has beenn uttering false information and spreading harmful propaganda in relation to the current Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
Yiga, commonly known as ‘abizaayo’ reportedly used his Television Station to tell the public that there was no Coronavirus in Africa . He coined his argument on the fact that no single death had been declared in a number of countries, yet in the west, nations that were battling the disease had lost lives in hundreds.
In the video which has been widely shared on social media, the TV host is heard asking the pastor whether his claim is backed with a spiritual vision from God. However, the pastor avoids the question and instead argued that coronavirus is just flu which has been already existing on the continent.
Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango says that Pastor Yiga’s utterance undermines government efforts in fighting the pandemic and exposes the public to dangers of laxity in observing the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health on its control and prevention. Onyango adds that Yiga’s action is considered as a direct attack on the people of Uganda.
Yiga is currently detained at Old Kampala Police Station where police questioned him about the motive of his utterances.
Prior to his arrest, Dr Daina Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary took her twitter to condemn Pastor Yiga and also appealing to Uganda Communications Commission which regulates broadcasters to whip his TV station over what looks to be a breach in the required standard. She further alerted the police to take action.
“UCC and police need to help (and) bring this person to book. Our laws are clear,” Dr Atwine said. She added that many other Ugandans on social media were already bashing the pastor who in the video dared the police to arrest him.
Section 171 of the penal code act criminalize negligence actions that are likely to spread infection of disease. The offense attracts seven years of imprisonment upon conviction.
A lot of misinformation about the virus has been making rounds in Africa given the fact that it took long before the virus made it to the continent. A few days ago, Zoe ministries’ Prophet Elvis Mbonye claimed that he had the cure of the deadly virus.
Prophet Mbonye further assured Ugandans that Jesus had told him that the disease was not to make it to uganda. However, days barely his claims Uganda registered her first case and the toll has since risen to 23. Currently, 46 countries in Africa have confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 3,426 testing positive, 94 deaths and 253 recoveries.