Covid-19: Police Arrest Pastors, 20 Followers For Defying Presidential Directive

Police in Mbarara have arrested two pastors of Source of Healing Church for conducting a church service contrary to the COVID-19 guidelines.

In March this year, President Yoweri Museveni ordered all places of worship closed to ensure social distancing to avoid the spread of the virus. However, pastors who include Masengo Rugabirwa and Ntungane Patrick, were found in their church located in Katete, Kakoba division, Mbarara City with of 20 members of their flock. 

Samson Kasasira, Rwizi Regional Police Spokesperson Confirmed the development and said police was notified by vigilant neighbours.  Kasasira said the suspects will be charged with disobedience of lawful order and for being negligent likely to spread infection of disease.

He added the 22 suspects are held at Central Police Station Mbarara as investigations commence.

Their arrest comes after two confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported in Mbarara, leading to the closure of five hotels. 

Religious leaders have on several occasions appealed to government to open churches, for people to plead to God for mercy as the country eases the lockdown. 

They have also draft standard operating procedures to guide the government easing the lockdown on churches.

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