Rev. Fr. John Bazimenyera, the dean of Mutolere parish in Kabale Catholic Diocese has been arrested for defying ban on the closure of churches over coronavirus.
Fr. Bazimenyera who is currently being detained at Kisoro police station was found with two nuns whose identities are not yet known on Sunday morning. They were found conducting a Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Gisoro Catholic parish in Kisoro Municipality.
Despite President Yoweri Museveni’s directive on the ban of public gatherings as a preventive measure against Coronavirus, Fr. Bazimenyera went ahead and organized a Mass which attracted about 40 believers.
Fr Bazimenyera reportedly said that when he arrived at the Church from Voice of Muhabura studios for morning prayers, he met a group of people who requested for prayers.
He says he then opened one entrance and held prayers for about 40 people.
As they prepare to have a holy communion, security officials under the command of Nelson Bataringaya, the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) Commander of 35th Battalion swung into action and dispersed them away.
Bataringaya also arrested Fr. Bazimenyera, two nuns and handed them over to Kisoro police station for detention. Believers who were mostly women took off on seeing security officials.
Bataringaya told The Pigeon News that he was shocked to receive information about the ongoing Mass at St. Peter’s Gisoro Catholic parish yet the nation is now on alert over the deadly coronavirus.
Bataringaya condemns Fr.Bazimenyera’s act of defying the President’s directive yet it was issued with an aim of preventing Ugandans against contracting the disease.
Abel Bizimana, Kisoro district LC.V Chairman commenting on the matter said that such a priest is the one who should be sensitizing members of the public to take all the necessary measures of preventing coronavirus than leading a Mass.
On Saturday night, Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng announced the first case of Covid-19 in Uganda. Aceng said that the case is of a 36-year-old Ugandan, a resident of Kakungulu Zone, Kibuli, who returned home recently aboard Ethiopian Airlines from Dubai.
He traveled out of Ugandan on 17th this month for business.
On his return, he presented with symptoms of high fever and poor appetite. His temperature was at 38 degrees centigrade, prompting the authorities to isolate him for further tests, which later proved positive.
According to Aceng, the victim is now isolated at Entebbe Grade B Hospital.
President Museveni who last evening declared the closure of borders has tweeted that he will today at 4:00 PM hold another address about further steps to take in curbing the possible spread of Covid-19.