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Tanzanian preacher wrong on 5G and Covid-19

Peter Mwai

BBC Reality Check

Preacher Josephat Gwajima
Preacher Josephat Gwajima has hundreds of thousands of followers online

Popular Tanzanian evangelical preacher Josephat Gwajima has been falsely claiming the push for 5G technology is behind the spread of coronavirus.

The founder and head of Glory of Christ Tanzania Church urges Tanzania not to install the 5G technology and also not to accept any vaccine against coronavirus.

Videos of his sermons are available in Swahili on Instagram and YouTube.

The preacher, who has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, claims the outbreak in Wuhan started when China started operating a 5G network, saying radiation from the masts was to blame.

He alleges that all countries that were badly affected were using 5G technology.

"All who have been badly affected have 5G, here [Tanzania] we don’t have. My advice is that Tanzania doesn’t install 5G now," he says.

5g graphic showing false links with covid-19
Conspiracy theories falsely link 5G technology with Covid-19

He however believes there is a coronavirus in circulation and advises people to strictly follow the health measures including washing hands with water and soap, sanitising and not touching hands.

"If we refuse to embrace this corona [5G], there are people who will bring to us the real corona," he says.

The alleged connection between the current epidemic and 5G technologies has been widely debunked, although this hasn’t stopped the conspiracy from spreading.

The World Health Organization says viruses cannot travel on radio waves or mobile networks.

And in China, the city of Wuhan had 5G technology operating as far back as April 2018 - well before coronavirus was detected at the end of last year.

What's more, Covid-19 is spreading in many countries that do not even have 5G mobile networks.

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