Pastor Yiga released on bail pending trial

Pastor Yiga in Court. The proceeding was conducting via video conferencing. URN PHOTO

Pastor Augustine Yiga alias Abizaayo, the founder of Revival Christian Church in Kawaala has been released on bail.

He was released by the Rubaga Grade One Magistrate, Timothy Lumunye on non-cash bond of Shs2m while each of his two sureties were bonded at Shs5m.

Pastor Yiga, who appeared in court via video link from Kitalya Government prison, was locked up for engaging in an act likely to spread an infectious disease.

“I have considered the two sureties. I am satisfied that they have the capacity to guarantee that the applicant when released on bail will comply with the terms and conditions of bail.
They are substantial within the context of this application,” ruled the magistrate.

Mr Lumunye ruled that in releasing Pastor Yiga, the court was furnished with evidence of proof that he is diabetic and undergoing treatment.

“As such it is only fair and just that he (Yiga) is released on bail to enable him see medical treatment,” the court added.

Magistrate Lumunye ordered Pastor Yiga to comply with all operating directives and law in force to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The applicant is in the strongest terms hereby restrained from making comments in form of opinion about COVID-19 before his followers, on his television station, on any social media platform, on any radio station or television station, whether by way of interview or online posting,” the magistrate ruled.

Pastor Yiga who has been in incarceration since March, is facing accusations of doing an act likely to spread infection of disease. He is being charged for allegedly uttering false information and spreading harmful propaganda in relation to the deadly COVID-19.

While at his Kawaala church, Yiga uttered words that to mean that there was coronavirus in Uganda and Africa in general, an act that was deemed likely to fuel the spread of the deadly virus.

At the previous court session, the Court declined to grant Pastor Yiga bail reasoning that it shall be considered in future when circumstances of COVID-19 have changed.

Pastor Yiga commonly known as ‘abizaayo’ coined his argument on the fact that no single death had been declared in a number of African countries unlike in the western world where nations many lives have so far been lost due to Covid-19.

In the video which went viral 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 argues that coronavirus is just flu which has been already existing on the continent.

The matter will return to court on June 25th 2020 for mention.

Additional reporting by URN