Uganda: Catholic Priest Arrested for Celebrating Mass

Mpigi — Police in Mpigi District on Sunday arrested Fr Deogratius Kiibi Kateregga, the parish priest of St Joseph's Catholic Parish in Mpigi Town Council for allegedly defying President Museveni's directive against holding religious gatherings, in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Herbert Nuwagaba, the Mpigi District Police Commander, said that Fr Kateregga was reportedly found celebrating mass at Joseph's Catholic Parish Church on Sunday morning.

"He was found preaching in the church in contravention of the presidential directives ," Mr Nuwagaba said.

According to Capt. Godfrey Matovu, the Mpigi District Internal Security Officer, Fr Kateregga was arrested with seven Christians. They are detained at Mpigi Police Station.

"We want him to tell us why he is doing this," Captain Matovu said.

On March 18, President Museveni suspended religious, cultural and political gatherings for at least 32 days on grounds that it would help to prevent the spread of the pandemic which has forced nearly one billion people around the world confined to their homes.

The president advised religious leaders to use television, radio stations and online platforms to preach.

Uganda has so far confirmed 30 cases of coronavirus pandemic which has wreaked havoc in different parts of the world.

The raging pandemic has disrupted social lives, travel and businesses as governments scramble to shut borders and unleash hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency measures to avoid a widespread virus-fuelled economic meltdown.

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