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Pastor charged for denying existence of Covid-19 in Africa

Ugandan authorities have charged a controversial pastor who is accused of telling his congregation that there are no coronavirus cases in Africa.

Prosecutors charged Augustine Yiga for telling his Revival Christian Church in a televised comment on Friday that there is “no coronavirus in Uganda and Africa”.

“Pastor Yiga of the Revival Christian Church was charged and remanded to prison for doing acts likely to cause the spread of COVID-19,” South Africa-based The Times live website quoted Uganda police spokesman Patrick Onyango as saying.

“Claiming that Covid-19 doesn’t exist in Africa and Uganda undermines government efforts in fighting the epidemic and exposes the public to the great danger of laxity in observing the guidelines on its control and prevention,” he added.

According to his lawyer Wilberforce Kayiwa, the controversial pastor denied the charge of promoting the spread of the coronavirus.

The pastor faces a jail term of up to seven years.

Uganda has reported 44 cases of the coronavirus; this is after 11 people were tested positive on Tuesday.

“Out of the 176 people tested, 11 of them tested positive and are all children of Watoto Church Choir who are still in quarantine. They picked the disease from outside,” Mr Museveni said on Tuesday.