Pastor Remanded for Allegedly Raping Latvian Tourist

Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s court was a scene of drama on Wednesday afternoon as lawyers and relatives of Pastor Joseph Collins Twahirwa 28 alias Daddy Collins tried to block journalists from covering his court appearance for rape. 

The pastor from Epikaizo Ministries International Bugoloobi appeared before Ritah Neumbe Kidasa, the Nakawa Chief Magistrate where he was charged with raping Lativian national, Saulite Anda 36. Pastor Collins entered the courtroom wearing a jumper with a hood under the tight guard of his lawyer and family members who shielded him from journalists. 

The prosecution told the court that On December 11, 2022, jetted into Uganda for her Christmas holidays at the invitation of Pastor Collins who she had interacted with for quite some time on Tiktok, a  popular social media platform. According to the court records, prior to flying into Uganda, Anda booked an apartment in Makindye division for her stay during her visit. 

She, however, said that she was surprised when she arrived and was picked up by the Pastor’s aides from the airport who drove her directly to his home in Munyonyo. Anda told the police that while taking a shower, Pastor Collins entered her room, saying that he had come to keep her warm and also make a baby with her. 

According to Anda, the pastor pushed her onto the bed and forcefully had sexual intercourse with her before robbing her of USD 300 and 400 Euros. She claims that after the incident, she was dropped at her apartment in Makindye without any money and the neighbors advised her to report the matter to the Police. In her statement, Anda said that three police officers at Jinja road Police tormented her when she went to report the matter. 

She says that on top of asking her to buy fuel to facilitate the investigations, the officers asked her to drop the case, saying that the matter was being followed by bigshots. The implicated officers including Sergeant Doreen Oyera, Judith Akite, and Joyce Aligat were charged by Uganda Police Standards Unit for Irregular Conduct under code 12 section 44 of the Police Act. 

Neumbe didn’t allow Pastor Collins to plead to the charges, saying that her court lacks jurisdiction on capital offenses. She advised him to apply for bail in the high court before remanding him to Luzira Prisons.  

Pastor Collin’s lawyer, Edious Asiimwe of Asiimwe advocates asked the court for protection of their defense witness and unlimited access to their client while on remand at Luzira because of his ailment, which he never revealed to the court. 

The State prosecutor Doreen Elima advised Asiimwe to seek protection from the Uganda Police Force, which is mandated to do so. She also explained that the court doesn’t have the power to grant unlimited access to the accused person while on remand.    

She noted that Uganda Prison Services has a good reputation for handling people who are on remand and need medical attention. Elima promised to conduct expeditious inquiries although they have up to 6 months for investigations of such a case as provided by the constitution. Pastor Collins will return to the court on February 1, 2023, for the mentioning of his case.

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