Saulite Anda, the Latvian national who earlier this year accused a city pastor of luring her into the country before he allegedly raped her, has since withdrawn the case, The Observer has learnt.
According to the withdrawal letter dated July 18, 2023 that The Observer has seen, Anda cites forgiveness as the reason to withdraw the rape charges against Pastor Joseph Collins Twahirwa of Epikaizo Ministries International in Bugoloobi.
The withdrawal letter is addressed to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the director of the police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID).
“I humbly submit my application to withdraw the above-mentioned case after forgiving Mr Twahirwa Joseph Collins wholeheartedly,” reads in part the withdrawal letter addressed to the office of the DPP.
Adding; “I hope from today (August 23, 2023) and onwards, he will live freely since I have no other grievances in reference to the above case.”
According to the stamp on the withdrawal form of the Criminal Investigations Directorate, the same letter was received on August 28. When contacted, Irene Nakimbugwe, the deputy spokesperson of the office of the DPP, acknowledged receiving the withdrawal letter which she says was dropped off by an unknown person at Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s court and they cannot ascertain whether it was really written by Anda or not.
Nakimbugwe added that they told the person who dropped off the letter to tell Anda to go and see the DPP personally to understand her reasons of withdrawing the case but they have never heard from her and currently don’t even know her whereabouts.
“We have failed to get in touch with either the person who dropped off the letter or Anda herself. If she was indeed intending to withdraw the case, she should have come and approached us because we took so much interest in her case. At the time the case was ongoing, she came personally, met the DPP and told her the ordeal she had gone through. The DPP went over and above to ensure that the pastor is apprehended and the case is sanctioned and then from nowhere we receive a letter that she is no longer interested in the case,” she said.
Because the DPP has failed to verify the authenticity of this letter allegedly from Anda withdrawing the case, Nakimbugwe says that the state will still go ahead with prosecuting the pastor for the alleged crime since he was already committed to the High court pending trial and only waiting for the High court to give them a day for the hearing and proceed.
Speaking about the matter, Pastor Twahirwa, 28, a lawyer by profession, claimed witch-hunt, wondering why the DPP continues to prosecute him when the complainant has since lost interest in pursuing the matter.
“I am being witch-hunted and I have been deliberately denied justice in my own country for the past one year. I have made losses and many things yet many people depend on me,” Twahirwa said, adding that he was the first to file a case of cyber harassment against Anda on January 1 this year but no action was ever taken.