Court dismisses rape case against pastor

Pastor Joseph Collins Twahirwa (masked) in court during hearing of his bail application on March 1, 2023. PHOTO | JULIET KIGONGO 
 

What you need to know:

  • A 36-year-old Latvian tourist, Ms Saulite Anda, initially accused Pastor TJ of rape, theft of $300, and passport confiscation. 

The High Court's Criminal Division has dismissed a rape case against Pastor Joseph Collins Twahirwa (TJ) of Bugolobi-based Epi Kaizo Ministries. The case had been ongoing since January 2023.

A 36-year-old Latvian tourist, Ms Saulite Anda, initially accused Pastor TJ of rape, theft of $300, and passport confiscation. 

The victim also co-accused three police officers including detectives Sergeant Doreen Oyera, Cpl Judith Akite and Constable Joyce Ayereget – all attached to Jinja Road Police Station for reportedly cornering in a bid to restrict her from pursuing the matter further.

After a year and a half of legal proceedings, Justice Alex Mackay Ajiji, on Thursday dismissed the charges. The judge cited a lack of prosecution (want of prosecution) under Section 17(2) of the Judicature Act.

Justice Ajiji, according to the June 13 dismissal order seen by this publication, said that all the charges of rape C/S 123 7 124 and trafficking in persons C/S 3(1) (a) of the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2009 against the accused, Twahirwa Joseph Collins alias Daddy Collins, are dismissed under S. 17(2) Judicature Act for want of prosecution.

Justice Ajiji in the order signed by the Assistant Registrar Criminal division Godfrey Ngobi Ssalaamu ordered for immediate release of the accused or get refunded all the monies he used for bail in case he is out.

“That all properties of the accused in police custody including; two phones an IPhone 13 and Itel, be returned to the accused,” reads part of the order.

When contacted, Pastor TJ welcomed the decision thanking “God for fighting his battle.” He noted that the case had been dismissed months after the Latvian tourist withdrew her accusations from police and even “apologised to him for spreading lies against him.”

“See the power of God, if you are innocent, God will always fight for you. Even the woman [Anda] who the haters used recently withdrew the case, I was called by police and they told me that the woman had withdrawn the case after telling them that she was being used,” he remarked.